How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

How to Make [the best] Chai [ever]

– courtesy of the hathi cooks

NOTE – THERE ARE SOOO MANY VERSIONS with slight variations, but BASIC SPICES ARE OBVIOUS & add your favorites. I’ve perfected my own method (w/coffee filter, spices, tea & a stapler) 😉

Just sayin ♡

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!

Best Bloody Mary

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😀
recipe adapted from Culicurious
I chose this recipe after Googling a few. And glad I did! It was absolutely GOOD!

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INGREDIENTS:

Bloody Mary Mix:
1 quart tomato juice (or V8 :D)
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 small limes)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon olive juice, preferably from Manzanilla olives
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Suggested Garnishes:
8 pickled green beans
8 Manzanilla olives,
speared two at a time on toothpicks
4 lime wedges
4 lemon wedges, seeds removed
4 celery stalks

METHOD:

In a large pitcher or mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in the Bloody Mary Mix section.Stir well, cover and refrigerate for two hours (up to overnight) until flavors meld.
When ready to serve, divide the Bloody Mary mix between four cups filled with ice.
Garnish liberally with your choice of suggested garnishes listed above. Add more or fewer garnishes depending on your taste.Note that this recipe yields about 4 servings which means each serving is receiving 2 shots (ounces) of vodka. Adjust to suit your taste from there.
Bloody Mary formula guided by Chow.com.

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I like tomato juice, but I like both so use your preference.

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Now….ready for game 😉
#Arizona #Cardinals vs #Detroit #Lions

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LARRY FITZGERALD 😀

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And THIS makes a great “breakfast in bed” ♡

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Well….until then? 😉
Top Chef?
Uh...NOT WHEN UA WILDCATS ARE PLAYING
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WILDCATS

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ALRIGHT! Bloody Marys & Arizona Football!

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http://blog.azcardinals.com/2014/11/14/friday-before-the-lions-stanton-leads-the-way

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Ooops…I got distracted 😉
It got me seeing RED!

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TUCSON…ROCK ON ~

BEAR DOWN!
#SCORE!
WINNING 😀

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

A very good day…both of my teams won

http://youtu.be/mel7pAtQMTo

Iced Caramel Macchiato

My latest craving ~
Iced Caramel Macchiato

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I figured it out on my own but to give you more than a guessing game, I’ll share this recipe 😉

Iced caramel macchiatto
— recipe from mariexotoni

Ingredients

1 & 1/8 cup Chilled Milk
1.5 tbsp Caramel Syrup,
*For best taste, use 3 pumps of Fontana Vanilla Syrup
2 Shots (6 tbsp) Brewed Espresso or Strongly Brewed Coffee,
*For best taste, use Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast
1/2 cup Ice
To be drizzled in cross-hatch pattern Caramel Sauce,
*For best taste, use Fontana Caramel Sauce

Instructions

Firstly, you will need to brew your espresso. Let it cool while you’re carrying out the rest of the recipe. You may even want to put it in the fridge, so it doesn’t melt the ice in your drink as quickly.
Add your caramel syrup to your cup.
Add chilled milk to glass on top of caramel syrupAdd ice to your glass.
Pour the shots of brewed espresso over your ice and stir until caramel is evenly distributed. If you’d like your drink more on the bitter side, add a little more espresso.This is what makes the caramel macchiato- your caramel sauce. Drizzle caramel sauce in a cross-hatch pattern on your drink. If you’d like your drink a little sweeter- add a little bit more of the caramel sauce. You may also choose to add more vanilla syrup to sweeten up your drink.

Enjoy!

This is such an easy recipe, that you’re going to want to make it more and more. With enough practice and taste-testing, you can have your iced caramel macchiato tailored to your liking. I just love that you can adjust this drink to your preference and mood, and it always comes out delicious!
Hope you guys enjoy!

Cheers to saving some moo-la!

I’ll add this “how to” video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YubYxXdyHzE
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#EASY & #DELICIOUS!
~ EXTRA SHOT OF CARAMEL FOR ME ♥
yup…thanks Chrissy ♥
I even use my Starbucks cup 😀
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Crema del Cielo

Crema del Cielo
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by Hispanic Kitchen

→ Here’s another “must share”!

The name means “Cream of Heaven.” Indeed. With vanilla ice cream, chocolate, coffee and rum, can you really go wrong?
This recipe is courtesy of our friend Puerto Rican Chef Cielito Rosado. Kick back and enjoy one of these…
4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla ice cream
¼ cup café colado (drip coffee)
2 oz. melted chocolate
4 oz. white or gold rum
¼ cup brown sugar
Method:
In a blender, mix all the ingredients until creamy. Serve immediately. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

http://www.hispanickitchen.com/m/blogpost?id=3365338%3ABlogPost%3A9848