By Tim Quiney, Deputy Food Editor
The Croft Magazine // Learn how to make the ideal cup of chai tea with Tim's tasty tips.
I try not to wish away the days but after Halloween, November is basically just a run up to Christmas. Pumpkin spice season is great and all but for something more DIY-friendly, less Halloween-hyped and definitely underrated there is chai.
It’s deliciously spiced and making it at home means you can make it as sweet as you choose. It’s ideal for when you want a cosy drink but don’t fancy a sickly-sweet hot chocolate first thing in the morning.
The cookbook Dishoom: From Bombay with Love by chef Naved Nasir and cofounders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar of Dishoom restaurants has a great traditional masala chai recipe.
They call for black tea (bags), cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black peppercorns, sugar and milk. You could also throw in even more festive favours like nutmeg or star anise.
Add the tea and spices to one litre of boiling water, simmer until fragrant before adding as much sugar as you like and around 500ml of milk. Continue to boil to your preferred strength before straining and serving.
Originally chai is made with whole milk, but I like to sub in homemade oat milk - made by blending a palmful of oats and a pinch of salt in a blender full of water and straining. If you’re making your own oat milk, try not to over-blend or it can get a bit slimy and remember to shake it up a lot before each use.
A big jug of chai made in advance can last me a few days, reheat it on the stove or microwave it in a mug for instant festive feels. Chuck in ice cubes for iced chai, if that’s your thing, or caffeine-devotees could make it dirty with a shot of coffee.
Featured Image: Unsplash / Kira auf der Heide
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