Monday, March 24, 2014

Meatless Monday Masala Chai ( Masala Tea)




Tea is my "go-to" in the evening when I come home tired after work. Out of all the Masala Chais I have had, my husband makes the best. This is one of my few luxuries: drinking a cup of husband-made tea in the evening! He makes it with all fresh ingredients and is absolutely refreshing and energizing ! This cup of tea gets me ready for my second shift;).
I like my tea freshly brewed from tea leaves, strong and thick with lots of milk. I do not like my tea bitter. I cannot stand tea made from tea-bags. They are too limp. Incidentally, since I gave up milk a year ago, I use almond milk in my tea. The best almond milk that gives me the taste closest to that of regular milk is the brand Almond breeze. Next comes Silk. None of the other brands match up. The only thing with almond milk is that to get the same taste as tea with regular milk, for each cup of tea, half of it has to be almond milk.
Here is my hubby's Chai recipe.

Servings: 2



 Ingredients:


Water: 2 cups
Tea leaves: 2 tsp black tea leaves of good quality.
Ginger: 1 inch, chopped
Cinnamon: 1 cm
Cloves: 3 nos
Cardamom: 2 nos
Jeera(Cumin seeds): 10 nos
Black pepper: 2 nos, freshly ground.
Milk: 1/4 cup, warmed( can add more if you wish)
Brown sugar: 2 tsp per cup( can modify as per taste.

Method:


In a saucepan place ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, jeera, and black pepper.


Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.


Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-4mins.



Now add the tea leaves, simmer for a minute more. Turn off the heat.




Cover the pot and let it sit for 5 mins.


Divide the milk between the two cups. Add sugar to each cup. Now strain the tea and add it to the cup. Stir well.


Serve with some tea-biscuits or tea-rusk or something savory like samosa.



Enjoy!

Cooking made easy:


Even though freshly brewed tea tastes the best, tea could be brewed a few hours ahead of time.It can even be left outside overnight.It does not need to be refrigerated. Warm it up at the time of serving, add milk and sugar as needed and serve.Black Tea does not go bad. It is only when milk has been added to it and has been left outside that it goes bad.

Tip for healthy living:


For centuries, different teas have been consumed for their health benefits. This of course depends on the type of tea. A book could be written on this topic.There are a myriad of  herbal and then we have the regular black & green teas.

Both black & green teas come from the same plant. Black tea is just tea leaves that have been oxidized more( left exposed to the air more).

Black tea has more caffeine than other teas and therefore makes you feel more alert. Black tea also contains a stimulating substance known as theophylline that also helps us in feeling more alert. Black tea contains substances called polyphenols & catechins which are antioxidants and helps protect cells from DNA damage and thereby maybe prevent atherosclerosis and some types of cancer.Black tea is also supposed to be beneficial in lowering the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney stones, Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis and lung cancer.
References:
http://m.timesofindia.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Health-benefits-of-black-tea/articleshow/8508759.cms
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/997.html
http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/black-tea-uses-and-risks

Food for thought:


A friend of all is a friend of none. Aristotle