If you go to an Indian (or any Asian subcontinent) household you won’t simply be offered tea, but a choice of “English or Indian/Desi tea”!
What is the difference you may ask? Well, English tea is what we are accustomed to here in the UK: boil water, add to the kettle/mug with teabag, add milk, sweeten to taste, and voila!
Indian tea on the other hand requires a bit more than just hot water! First of all we use spices to help create that familiar scentsational aroma and up the antioxidants…. and then, depending how milky you like it, you can have 100% milk, 50-50 milk and water or 100% water and add some milk at the end. As you may know, I am lactose intolerant so use alternative non-dairy milk, and use sweetener from the stevia plant instead of sugar because it’s healthier!
You can purchase a quick and cheap version of this on the high street in coffee chains. On of them calls their version of it “Chai Tea Latte”, Chai means tea and latte is Italian for milk, so they are advertising “Tea Tea Milk”! Urgh! One of my pedantic gripes!
Here is how we make Indian tea in our home which serves 2 people.
3 mugs of soya milk/almond/hazelnut/coconut milk
Stevia according to desired sweetness
4 small cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom seeds
8 whole black pepper
8 clove seeds
Small shaving of nutmeg seed
2 tea bags/4 spoons of loose tea (tea bags are easier to clean up!)
1) On 3/4 heat, add all ingredients into a saucepan.
2) Stir until your tea to ensure good mixing – the darker your the, the stronger it will be!
3) Let the tea cook for about 5 mins.
4) Bring your tea to the boil a couple of times by increasing and then decreasing the heat, all the time ensuring you continue to stir – make sure you don’t let your tea overflow!
5) Breakfast or teatime, your Spicy Masala Chai is served!
Let me know how you get on and please feel free to provide feedback 🙂