I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! I had one of those weekends where I wanted drinks. And not just alcoholic! It started with chai. I’ve made chai before and I even have a recipe here on the blog about it, but I always try to find a way to make it differently.
There are so many varieties of chai! But the one common ingredient with all of them is cardamom. It’s an incredibly smokey, warm spice that comes in a little pod. It’s a really great ingredient, but it also can be kind of expensive. The key is to buy it at your Indian grocery store because it will probably be cheaper to buy there (in a pretty good-sized bag too) than at your local grocery store Protip: get ALL Indian spices from an Indian store. Buying bags of turmeric, cumin, coriander, etc. is so much cheaper and runs about $2.99 a bag as opposed to $6.99 for a tiny jar in the world foods or spices aisle.
Anyway back to the chai! So this time I decided to try something different when making it.
I decided to roast the cardamom! It’s not anything new, I’m sure. it’s just something I haven’t done before. I figured, I dry roast all the spices for garam masala when I make it, so why not the cardamom for the chai?
It worked beautifully and added an extra warm taste…if that makes sense…? I’m glad I gave it a try. I have both cardamom in and out of the pod, but I find myself using the in-pod when I make the chai. Having the skin while you roast helps release the natural oils and it also intensifies the flavor of the cardamom. Roasting it only takes it up to that next level!
Chai for One
•1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
•1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (dry roasted)
•3 cardamom pods (dry roasted)
•1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
•1/2 teaspoon whole black cloves
•1 1/2 cups water
•Milk and sugar to taste
•1-2 teabags of Darjeeling or English black tea (you could also use loose tea leaves)
Start roasting the cardamom in a dry pan over low heat for 5-10 minutes. The cardamom is done when they’re lightly toasted and you can literally smell it. In the mean time heat up the water in a small pan and bring to bring to simmer. Add the tea bags and spice mixture and let it steep and mull for 10-15 minutes. When the water has turned to a beautiful dark color, take it off the heat and pour it through a strainer, into a cup. Add milk and sugar to taste and enjoy!
It’s so easy to make that you won’t need to spend the $4 at your local coffee shop. I find those to be too sweet for my tastes and it doesn’t taste like home, either! Give this a try – I know you’ll love it!
So tell me: do you like teas and coffee from other countries?
What’s your favorite?