MASALA CHAI TEA

MASALA CHAI TEA


Recipe adapted from Cook Eat Share , by Linda Tay Esposito

*with just a few changes, only because of what I had…or didn’t , like no fennel, nor anise. I used ginger & (secret weapon) saffron 😀 . NO on orange flavors (preference). I followed flavors more closely to my previous post ♡ & this one for technique. 

And it was delicious!

Also, I put all ingredients in pan & strained through cheesecloth AFTER.

Spiced sweetened milk tea. Every Indian family has their own recipe to make chai, but the most important base spice is cardamon. The sweet fragrance of cardamon mixed with other spices such as fennel, cloves and cinnamon gives the tea a heady aroma. The tea is simmered slowly to extract its full strength. Goes really well with curries and hot foods. The tea is addictive! You won’t stop at just one cup.


Ingredients

  • Some cheesecloth and kitchen twine
  • 15 cardamon pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 pieces cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 7 1/2 cups water
  • 10 teabags Orange Pekoe tea (Lipton, PGs, Tetleys or any other British brand teas)
  • 3 cups evaporated milk
  • 8 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Place spices (except for cinnamon sticks) in a cheesecloth or a teaball and bundle tightly together with kitchen twine.
  2. In a large pot, add water, teabag, spice bag and cinnamon sticks and bring to a gentle boil. When it boils simmer under a slow fire for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove spice bag, teabags and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Mix in milk and sugar. Bring back to a boil.
  5. Sieve into a teapot before serving


Smart to take a look & read at the blog link below 😉 

KEEPER OF THE HOME 

There are umpteen variations on exactly what should be included in a good masala chai mix. Really, it’s up to your own tastes. If you like more of that peppery bite, go for it. Love the tang of ginger? Up the amount. Really enjoy cardamom? Go to town.


Watching chai being prepared for the first time here in India

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My phone/cam needs to be cleaned pronto!

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How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

– courtesy of the hathi cooks

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

November 28, 2011

Chai has always been an integral part of our daily lives as well as our get togethers with friends and family.  At family reunions, my father had the honorary title of “chai master” and mine was “junior chai master.”  We used to joke about how when we were all sick of being doctors, we would retire and open up a small cafe called “Good Chai” and stock it with the best chai in the world and some mighty delicious snacks.  That way we could continue the tradition of people coming to our house and sipping mug after mug of chai and letting their problems melt away in the delicious warmth of this wonderful drink.

 

The Basics of Chai

Chai is a ubiquitous drink in India.  It is made across the country and is drunk both at home and at tiny tea stalls on road sides everywhere.  Interestingly, this beverage that so many people associate with India was actually not consumed until the time of the British Raj.  India grew a large amount of tea in areas such as Assam and Darjeeling, however the majority of Indians consumed coffee.  The British East India Company became concerned as they realized they were losing a vast source of income to the Chinese, who had a virtual monopoly on tea sales.  Thus, the East India Company began promoting tea to Indians.  At first, the Indians were skeptical, and did not want to abandon their strongly flavored coffee.  But eventually someone added strongly flavored spices to a sweet and milky tea and masala chai took off!  The chai is sweet and spicy with a subtle burn at the back of the throat.  It is, in a word, wonderful.

The Tea Leaves

The tea used in chai is very crucial to the final flavor of the tea.  Many people assume that they have to use the best quality tea available and use whole leaf Darjeeling or Assam tea, and end up with chai that does not taste quite right.  The tea for masala chai is a variety known as “mamri” or “little grain” tea.  It is cheap and strong and holds its own against the strong spices in the chai.  I recommend making a trip to an Indian grocery store to buy brands such as Lipton Yellow Label TeaJivraj No. 9, or Taj Mahal Tea.  If you do not have an Indian store nearby, buy Lipton or some other similarly cheap and strong black tea bags from the grocery store.  This tea will probably become your “chai only” tea, as it is not necessarily the best to drink plain, but is absolutely wonderful with milk, spices, and sugar.

The Masala

 

Much like the recipe for garam masala, this recipe also comes from my paternal great-great grandmother and has been passed down through the generations, giving all of us some pretty incredible chai.  While I am obviously biased I really do believe our masala is what makes our chai so special.  The chai masala is a delicious blend of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.  All of the spices add a delicious warmth to the chai, and the black pepper and ginger add a subtle heat as well.   We have a specific ratio that we follow to make the spice blend, but feel free to adjust it as you deem fit.  If you’d like less burn, decrease the black pepper, if you love cardamom, bump that up.  The recipe is a great guideline, but feel free to change it as the seasons and your mood change!

Warning–Nerdy science note:  The flavors that make spices taste delicious are all aromatic compounds.  Aromatic compounds are made of molecules that contain a structure known as a benzene ring, meaning they dissolve best in alcohols or fats.  You may have notices this when making drinks, that adding a twist of lemon to a martini adds significantly more flavor in a shorter amount of time than adding a twist of flavor to a glass of water.  Similarly, if you make this chai with a non-fat milk, you won’t extract as many flavors from the spices as if you make it with a milk that has some fat.  So do your spices a flavor, and don’t make this with skim milk.  Nerdy science note done.

Making the Chai

There are many ways to make chai.  Some start by boiling ingredients sequentially, and others have strict rules about only stirring the chai 3 times in clockwise circles.  The way that my family makes chai is relatively straightforward.  We dump all the ingredients in the pot and let it come to a slow boil until it turns a beautiful, rich color.  We use loose leaf tea, so it is necessary to strain the tea once it is fully cooked (having a spouted pot will really help decrease spills).  Strain the tea, sit back, and enjoy.

 

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 5 minutes Yield: 1 eight oz serving of chai, makes about 3 cups of masala

Delicious, authentic chai, passed down from my great-great grandmother. Spicy and sweet and absolutely wonderful!

You’ll Need…

  • For the chai:
  • 1/2 cup milk (not skim milk, see nerdy science note above)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 1 tsp. loose tea leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chai masala depending on your spice preference, see recipe below
  • For the chai masala:
  • **Please see additional notes below before proceeding regarding the total amount to make as well as the amount of black pepper**
  • 160 g. whole black peppercorn (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 cup + 7 Tbsp)
  • 125 g. whole dried ginger or ginger powder(Volume: 1 cup + 8 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. cinnamon sticks (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 50 g. whole cardamom seeds (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1/2 cup + 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. whole cloves (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)
  • 5 g. nutmeg (or finely ground, same weight. Volume: 1 Tbsp)

Directions

  1. For the chai:
  2. Pour all ingredients into a (preferably spouted) saucepan. Place over medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the milk. Stir the chai, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Bring to a boil once again, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Strain carefully into a cup, and serve.
  3. For the chai masala:
  4. If you are using whole spices, weigh out the appropriate amount, place in spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Mix all the spices together, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry part of your kitchen. Do not expose to too much sunlight.

Additional Notes

The recipe was passed down in grams, I’ve tried to convert it into conventional measurements, but please be aware that the conventional measurements are of the finely ground not the whole spices. Please note, you will get best results if you weigh the spices, it’s most accurate. 

The masala recipe makes a LOT of masala. Feel free to make 1/5 of the recipe, that’s the easiest number to divide if you have an accurate scale. 

Some have said that the recipe is a bit spicy for them. For those of you who are finding the recipe a bit too spicy, feel free to decrease the black pepper. Perhaps start by cutting the amount in half (80g) and then making a cup, if you can think you can tolerate more black pepper start adding in 10 additional grams of black pepper until you get to your perfect spice level!

Slow-Cooker Twenty-Garlic Chicken Dinner

Slow-Cooker Twenty-Garlic Chicken Dinner

– from Pillsbury 

Ingredients

1
teaspoon salt
1
teaspoon paprika
1/2
teaspoon pepper
1
teaspoon olive oil
3
to 3 1/2 lb cut-up frying chicken
1
large onion, sliced 
1
medium bulb garlic (about 20 cloves)

 

Steps

  • 1In small bowl, mix salt, paprika, pepper and oil to form paste; spread evenly over each piece of chicken.

  • 2In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place onion slices. Arrange chicken over onion. Separate garlic into cloves; do not peel cloves. Place garlic cloves around chicken.

  • 3Cover; cook on Low setting 7 to 8 hours.

  • 4With slotted spoon, remove chicken, onion and garlic from slow cooker; place on serving platter. Squeeze garlic cloves to use cooked garlic on mashed potatoes, vegetables or bread.

Expert Tips

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This sounds like a lot of garlic, but the garlic flavor dissipates during the long cooking. Plan to serve the cooked garlic with another part of the meal. It is delicious on bread or mashed potatoes.

Sheet Pan Balsamic Steak & Potatoes

– courtesy of Delish

– by LINDSAY FUNSTON


https://youtu.be/dshcXJ_bV34

Sometimes all you really need is steak & potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. baby potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs
  • 1 lb. flank steak

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil potatoes until tender, 12 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat broiler. Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.
  3. On a plate, rub steak with oil and lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Nestle in the middle of the potatoes.
  4. Broil until steak is medium, 4 minutes per side.
  5. Let rest, then slice and serve.

Horse Play


Excitement and awe, that sense you get when you stumble upon wildlife in their natural environment.  I personally get shocked when I see a coyote scamper quickly across the street.  However, what i…

Source: Horse Play

Classic Italian Gremolata

How To Make Classic Italian Gremolata

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courtesy of the Kitchn ~  
(followed with a link to Mario Batalli post on ways of use)

I’m so late to this game! But…better late than never. I’m jumping on this wagon.


Gremolata is one of those things where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. After all, what could be be more common in a kitchen than garlic, lemon, parsley? And yet this Italian condiment, which simply consists of those three items finely chopped together, is your secret ingredient. Sprinkled over any number of dishes, it will make every mouthful pop with its bright, fresh flavors. Gremolata is so simple that you barely need a recipe, but here’s one all the same, just to get you started.

Part condiment and part garnish, gremolata is most commonly used for a final flourish of flavor, classically with the famous Italian recipe Osso Buco, where it adds a fresh, zippy note to the rich, meaty dish. But it should not be limited to just rich preparations! Try it sprinkled over grilled or roasted vegetables, any baked or grilled fish, chicken, or lamb. Asparagus is particularly wonderful with gremolata, as well as many pasta dishes. And creamy bean dishes, especially if they contain meat, are sure to benefit from a last minute sprinkling of gremolata.

Gremolata is a favorite condiment in my household because it solves a major culinary challenge: how to add the bright, citrusy notes of lemon to green vegetable dishes without dulling the color. Have you ever had that happen? You add a dash of lemon to some asparagus only to have it turn a dull, army green. Ugh. Gremolata is your solution as it adds lemon in the form of zest which won’t react as much to green vegetables.


The Ingredients

Garlic

Since the garlic is raw, you want it as fresh as possible. Old garlic will be yellow and sticky, often with a green shoot growing out, and it will smell strongly and slightly acrid. Fresh garlic will be white, plump, and while its scent will be unmistakably garlicky, it will still smell fresh. If you only have older garlic, remove the green stem and blanch it for a few minutes in boiling water to remove some of the acrid taste.

Lemon

Use organic if at all possible, since you will only be using the zest. (The zest-free lemon will keep a few days which leaves you plenty of time to do something with the juice.) The lemon zest adds acid, zippiness, brightness.

Parsley

Use flat leaf parsley if available, and wash it well. Most importantly, be sure it is completely dry before you start chopping it. If possible wash and dry it a few hours before you use it and then wrap it in a towel to absorb the last few drops of water. If the stems are thin and subtle, don’t worry to much about including them. If the stems are thick and tough, you’ll want to pluck the leaves. Chop the parsley as finely as possible. Parsley adds a clean, fresh, herbal note.

The Equipment

Microplane

Gremolata is an excellent reason to go ahead and get yourself a Microplane grater, if you haven’t already. You can find them for about $10 these days and they are well worth it. The Microplane will finely mince the garlic in about 5 seconds. Having the garlic finely minced is critical to a good gremolata, so if you don’t have a Microplane, be sure to chop it as finely as possible. A microplance also is excellent for zesting the lemon as it easily removes just the yellow zest without any of the bitter pith and creates a very finely zested peel.

Chef’s knife

Be sure your knife is as sharp as possible so when your mincing the parsley, you’re making clean cuts through the leaves and not just smashing them with a dull knife blade.

What about a food processor?

Sure you can use one, but I find that they don’t chop things as finely or as evenly as I like. The amounts here aren’t that big, so a mini-chopper might work, although I don’t have any direct experience with this.

The Method

I like to chop my parsley until it is just shy of being finely minced. Then I grate the garlic and lemon over the parsley and finish the chopping while integrating the lemon and garlic into the mix. I like this better than just tossing the separately chopped items as I feel it helps to blend the flavors.

Also, I like a very finely chopped gremolata as a general rule, but sometimes a more rustic texture is called for. In that case, still grate the garlic and lemon peel but don’t chop the parsley as finely.

Substituting Other Ingredients

Parsley, garlic, and lemon make up the classic gremolata, but you can certainly switch things up to suit your dish. The garlic can be replaced with shallots, for instance, or the lemon with another citrus such as lime. Consider a mandarin orange and mint version, for example, or cilantro, lime and shallot. Or mix in a few fresh herbs with the parsley, such as adding a bit of tarragon to the classic mixture.

How To Make Gremolata

Makes about 1/3 cup

What You Need

Ingredients
1 small bunch of parsley, washed and dried (enough to make 1 cup loosely-packed)
1 clove garlic, papery skin removed
2 organic lemons, washed and dried

Equipment
Sharp chef’s knife
Cutting board
Microplane

Instructions

  1. Prep the parsley: Remove the leaves from the parsley — enough to make 1 cup when very loosely packed.
  2. Chop the parsley: Chop the parsley with a chef’s knife until it is nearly finely chopped. It should be less than 1/2 cup.
  3. Add the garlic: Using a Microplane or fine-toothed grater, grate the garlic clove over the parsley.
  4. Add the lemon: Using the same grater (don’t bother to wash it), grate just the zest from the two lemons on top of the garlic. 

    → Bonus:
     Doing the garlic and lemon in this order will help to rid the Microplane of garlic odors!
  5. Finish the chopping: Continue to chop the parsley, mixing in the garlic and lemon as you go, until the parsley is chopped very fine.
  6. Use or store: Use the gremolata right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day

5 WAYS TO USE GREMOLATA

 Mario Batalli 

IT’S NOT JUST FOR BRAISED MEATS!

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Gremolata ~ photo from Whole Foods

LONGBOY CHEESEBURGER

LONGBOY CHEESEBURGER


My dad use to make these regularly when I was growing up; but I thought he made it up 😀

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 loaves brown ‘n’ serve French bread
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a 2-quart bowl, mix together first eight ingredients. Cut each loaf of bread in half lengthwise; spread one-fourth of meat mixture over each half, covering all the way to edges. Place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until meat is cooked, sprinkling with cheese during the last 5 minutes of baking. Cut into slices to serve. Yield: 8 servings.



I found the recipe via an old cookbook…still available on Amazon. 

Aromatic Wilted Greens with Coconut Milk

Aromatic Wilted GREENS with Coconut Milk

aromatic-wilted-greens-with-coconut-milk

– courtesy of BON APPÉTIT 

The Ingredient That Makes Us Want a Pile of Greens Every Night

Aromatic Wilted Greens with Coconut Milk

Gentl & Hyers

 

Recipe by Chris Morocco

Photograph by Gentl & Hyers

McCormick Herb Grinders

McCormick Herb Grinders

herb-grinders-mobile-hero

– by McCormick (now you know I’ve gotta try these; even with fresh growing here) 😀

italian-blend-herb-grinder

Did You Know?

Herb Grinders are made with gently dried, larger cut leaves that lock in natural oils. As the bottle is twisted, these oils are released to deliver a fresher flavor and aroma.

FLAVOR, FRESHLY GROUND

Introducing Herb Grinders in Basil, Italian Blend, Oregano and Parsley. A flavor innovation, each grinder contains gently dried herbs with larger cut leaves for taste and aroma that’s fresher than ever before.

Prep, cook, plate, feast! Herb Grinders are designed for all the ways you dish – from planning to cooking to garnishing at the table, it’s time to savor more flavorful moments in your everyday meals.

Find McCormick Herb Grinders in a store near you!

Herb Grinders Infographic Mobile

FRESH FLAVOR AT EVERY TURN

Each with a distinct flavor personality, the herbs inside Herb Grinders are carefully selected for quality that’s 100% pure McCormick. Learn more about how our herbs are innovatively bottled for freshness.

ITALIAN BLEND

The Mediterranean is one of the world’s best herb-growing regions, which is why Italian Blend is sourced from countries along its lush coast.Italian Blend Herb Grinder

Chilli pic

You can smell the aroma instantly as you grind the bottle. It makes my meals taste so fresh and cooking is more enjoyable.

Dylan S., Herb Grinders user

PARSLEY

The bright, herbal flavors of parsley are captured in this innovative bottle design. Behind the fresh taste: Gently dried, larger cut leaves that lock in natural oils to deliver freshness at every spin.Parsley Herb Grinder

Spices pic

OREGANO

A blend of the finest Turkish oregano with leaves and buds – the most flavorful combination.Oregano Herb Grinder

Chilli pic

The herbs have a longer shelf life than fresh herbs, so I get fresh flavor without all the chopping. It’s insanely convenient!

Suzanne H., Herb Grinders user

BASIL

Part of the mint family, this subtly sweet and fragrant herb has so much to savor. Gently dried to retain its natural green shade, the basil inside this bottle is the highest quality variety we’ve discovered yet.Basil Herb Grinder

Spices pic

HERB GRINDERS IN ACTION

Bring fresher flavor and aroma home with these quick recipes.

Chilli pic

Find Herb Grinders in a store near you

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Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia 25 Years by Cavalli

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia 25 Years by Cavalli

150emiliavinegar

Elixir From the Gods ~
Ambrosia is the food of the goods, the Aceto Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia – 25 years is worthy of being the elixir of the gods — ambrosia. This product is the PERFECT addition to any dish; be it hot or cold. Great with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese and some pasta. Believe me, it is addictive