Hello buddies. Hope you are having a great weekend. Today I am sharing a recipe of making a perfect cup of flavored tea. This recipe has been resting in my drafts since almost a year now. So, decided to post it today.
Chai (Hindi), or tea is way of life for us Indians. I may not be exaggerating even if I say that we survive on endless cups of tea! It is the very first thing we think about when we wake up. Every office, small or big, has its own tea-boy. You will find numerous tea stalls at railway stations and some even on the street-sides. Basically Indian tea is cooked, milky, strong and sweet.
Black tea, green tea, spiced or flavored, you name it, we have it! Chai is now a part of our vernacular, and deeply ingrained. For example, in Hindi language, Chai means tea, paani means water, and chai-paani together actually means offering water, tea and snacks to the guests visiting us. The term reflects hospitality. We also use it in a way that makes a different sense altogether. The short-hand for a small bribe is called 'chai-paani' in India.
The best tea blends come from India. Assam tea is named after the region of its production. The north-eastern Indian state of Assam is the world's largest tea-growing region. It lies on the either sides of River Brahmaputra. Assam tea is grown near the sea level. It is strong, brisk, and has a malty flavor, and gives out a bright color.
And I'm an ardent tea lover. I love trying out different types of tea at different places, be it a road side stall where it costs just five rupees, or a fancy expensive restaurant. I love it everywhere. I will never deny a cup of tea. You wake me up in the midnight and I'm up for a tea treat! :D
Also I play with it at home, trying to making it more fun experimenting in the kitchen. Among all the varieties, ginger tea is my favorite. We can make it at home. Its very easy and quick, and yes it is very refreshing. As ginger is a hot ingredient, providing warmth to the body after consumption, we have ginger tea during monsoon and winter. It is really soothing, especially due the medicinal properties of ginger.
But if you like to have it in summers, go ahead. There is no harm, but just go a little easy on ginger. Add a very little ginger, just enough to add a mild flavor. You can add either pandan leaves or ginger to your tea, as per your liking. I added both this time. This tea is strong, milky, flavorful, slightly sweet and keeps you warm in winters. Too much sugar would kill the flavors of the herbs. I used whole milk. Tea made using skimmed or toned milk doesn't really taste good.
And we need black Assam tea for making this ginger tea. The black tea that we use here is granular. Black tea leaves are further processed to form this granular type of tea. There are a number of brands available to choose from. Personally I like 'Taj Mahal Tea' and 'Sapat Parivaar' the most. I use these brands at home. You may pick your favorite brand as per your preference for blends and also the availability to make this flavored tea.
I hope you will try making this tea at home and will like it. Let us make it!
Preparation time - 5 minutes
Cooking time - 10 to 12 minutes
Serves - 2
Whole milk- 1 and 1/4 cup
Water- 1 and 1/4 cup
Tea powder- 2 and 1/2 tsp, or depending upon the strength of the brand you use. I use Sapat Parivaar Tea
Sugar- 2 tsp, or to taste
Pandan leaves- Two long leaves, cut into smaller strips
Fresh ginger- 2 tsp,crushed. Adjust the quantity for a desired strength of flavor
1. Take a heavy bottom utensil to make tea. Add water and milk to it. Turn on the heat to medium and bring it to boil.
2. Add tea powder and stir with a ladle. When the milk gets a little color from the tea, add in crushed ginger and pandan leaves.
3. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, till the tea gets its usual color and the raw smell of milk is gone. You would now be able to smell the aroma in the steam.
4. Add sugar and stir again. Let it boil nicely for 2 more minutes. By now, the tea might as well have reduced to 2 cups.
5. Strain into your favorite tea cups and we are done!
Your perfect cup of tea is ready. Just sit back, relax and enjoy with your favorite tea-time snack!