Wednesday, January 31, 2007

...and I gingerly step in !

Dear Foodies,

Help yourself to some of my ginger tea and biscuits while I enjoy it myself as I write this post :-)

Hugs..Hugs and more Hugs to all of you who missed me :P and inquired about me the past few weeks. Each one of your comments made my day !!


P.S: Will be back soon with the post ;-)

Chai and biscuits (recipe coming soon)

This post was meant to be my last desperate attempt to participate in the JFI - Ginger event hosted this time by Rosie . But the blog and this post have been neglected for a looong time now and I haven't been able to meet the deadline. A few weeks back I hurt my finger trying to be adventurous in the kitchen and got banned from going any where close to it. Though I missed cooking, I got used to be royally babysitted by my darling roommates, friends and of course Big B (thats my brother ;-)).

Off-late I seem to have lost my affection towards the daily dose of Starbucks and crave more for a nice cup of chai. I simply love the soothing taste of hot tea brewed till the milk in infused by the magic of the tea leaves. I have also been experimenting on the right blend of spices that I want in it. I have always preferred a mix of Cardamom and Ginger in my tea. Cardamom lends a calmness and a lovely festive touch to the tea while Ginger lends its sharpness to it. I have also been adding a tiny piece of cinnamon and have fallen in love with the spicy-sweet flavor it gives. Added in the right proportions, this hot cup of spiced chai will give you all the warmth you need for your body and mind.

Apart from all these wonderful aromatic spices the other main ingredient is the Tea powder itself. I am totally in favor of the Tajmahal tea from Brooke Bond. I personally feel this is the best blend.

It has also been snowing here for the last two weeks with temperatures dipping to a unforgiving -18C !! And so the simple thought of sipping a hot cup of chai cuddled in my palm is all that I crave :-)

Chai/Tea is generally made by boiling a mix of water and milk and then adding in the tea leaves and bringing the whole thing to a boil. I read somewhere that the tea leaves should not be left to boil for a long time as they loose their smell and other nutritive value on boiling. It is always suggested to first bring the water+milk mixture to a boil first and then adding the tea. If using whole milk, I use a near 50-50 ratio of milk and water. Since we buy 2% milk at our apt, I use it directly, its already thin, and it definitely needs no more water in it !!

For one cup of tea:
  • 1 1/4 cup - milk + water (if using, whole milk, else plain 2% milk)
  • 1-2 tsp - Tea leaves or 1-2 tea bags as per your taste.
  • a tiny piece of ginger crushed with your knife
  • 1-2 pods - Cardamom, slightly crushed too.
  • 1 tiny piece of Cinnamon
  • Sugar to taste
* I used the amount in the photo

How I do it:
  1. Set the milk + water mixture to a boil and toss in the crushed ginger, opened cardamom pods along with the skin and the piece of cinnamon.
  2. Let this mixture boil for a few minutes until a thin layer of fat forms on the surface and the milk starts to raise. By this time your kitchen will smell of the wonderful spiced milk !! :-)
  3. Reduce the flame a little and add the tea leaves or tea bags let it all simmer for a few more minutes.
  4. Slowly the milk will turn into a beautiful orange color. The longer you simmer it, the stronger it gets.
  5. Turn off the heat and filter the tea into your favorite cup and add sugar to taste. ENJOY !! :D
Hot Ginger-spice tea with munchies(vadiyum)

This tea has a predominant ginger taste complimented by the cardamom and cinnamon, just the way I like it :-) Let me know how you like your cuppa, and if you try out mine, let me know !!

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