I always use a lot less milk and only Assam tea. There are loads of different brands available, but for a strong rich Indian black chai, nothing beats Assam. PG Tips or English breakfast comes close and you could also use ceylon tea. Any other brand will give you a weak result. When adding the extra flavouring, like ginger and peppermint, only add one of these at any one session. All flavourings at the same time will result in a ‘confused’ cup of tea!
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Masala Chai Gujarati style
In Gujarat, this chai would be made with a lot more milk and plenty of sugar. The milk portion is so high, that if you don't drink the offered tea piping hot, there will be a milk skin setting in on the top. Now you know why most customers at the road side chai-wallah stall blow on top of the tea before drinking. It is not to cool down the tea but to push away the milk skin before sipping(drinking)! The other feature of the Gujarati tea is the size of the cups, much too small for my taste. I like my big mug of unsweetened tea.
- 2 Cups Water
- Half inch fresh grated ginger optional
- Quarter teaspoon Chai masala optional, buy from any asian store.
- Quarter teaspoon ground cardamom optional
- 3 fresh leaves Peppermint optional
- Less than Quarter Cup Milk Increase or decrease according to taste
- 1 teaspoon loose black tea granules or leaves Loose Assam Tea. PG tips, Tetly or English breakfast are also good.
- 1 Tea-strainer
- 1 Tea-pot
- 2 teaspoon sugar Add or omit according to taste.
Start by boiling water in a thick based metal pan.
Add either, ginger, or chai masala, or cardamom or peppermint to the boiling water. Do not add all the optional items in one session or you will end up with a confused tasting tea! Try a few different combinations and find your own favourite mix.
Add the tea granules or leaves and boil for a few minutes more. Try not to over-boil otherwise the resulting tea will have a bitter after-taste.
Finally add the milk.
As soon as the tea-mix starts to boil, take the pan off the heat.
Strain either straight into the cups or mugs or into the tea-pot.
If you have not added sugar before straining, add now according to taste.