The weather is finally starting to change! You know what that means…warm and cozy drinks. A good cup of chai is essential whether the weather is cold or hot. No matter if you prefer strong karak chai or you prefer that milky chai your parents would let you have on the weekends when you were ten years old Everyone makes their chai according to their preferences – strong, light, sweet, salty, the list could go on forever.
Here are some creative chai recipes you can make this winter to keep you warm and cozy:
1. Adrak Chai
Adrak (ginger) chai is perfect for rainy afternoons – the bold flavor of ginger goes great with strong chai. To make it add half a teaspoon of crushed, fresh ginger into a saucepan of water along with 1/2 teaspoon ginger (soonth) powder. Let this come to a boil and add your preferred amount of loose tea or teabags. Simmer for a couple of minutes on low heat. Add milk and simmer for two more minutes. Using a tea strainer, strain into tea cups. Add desired amount of sugar and enjoy.
2. Masala Chai
To make the masala for this chai, use a mortar and pestle to grind 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, four peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds. In a saucepan add two cups of milk and heat on medium heat. Add the masala mix and simmer. In a separate saucepan add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Add preferred amount of loose tea and simmer for 2 minutes (the stronger the tea the better). Add the water/tea mixture to the saucepan with the milk and spices. Bring to a boil and strain into cups. Add desired amount of sweetener and enjoy.
This is my go-to tea in the wintertime. The stronger the better. In a saucepan, combine two cups of water, one cinnamon stick, and two whole cardamom pods (sliced open). When the water comes to a boil, add preferred amount of sugar and the loose tea or tea bags. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for one minute. Turn off heat and cover the tea. Let it steep for two minutes. Add milk and bring the tea to a boil. Let it boil for one minute. Strain the chai and serve piping hot.
4. Gur Chai
To make this cozy chai: add two cups of water into a pan and bring to a boil. Toss in one bay leaf, one medium sized piece of gur (jaggery) and preferred amount of loose tea. Let it simmer for five minutes. Add desired amount of evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Strain into teacups and enjoy.
5. Gulab Chai (Rose Tea)
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add desired amount of loose tea and simmer for 2 minutes. In a separate saucepan add two cups of milk and one tablespoon of rose petals or rose buds along with two tablespoons of red sharbat. Simmer on low heat for five minutes. Add the water and tea mixture into the saucepan with the milk. Simmer for two minutes and strain into teacups. Garnish with chopped almonds and enjoy.
In a large saucepan, bring two cups of water and one cup of milk to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add preferred amount of loose tea or about three tea bags. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer, covered, for five minutes. Stir in three tablespoons of caramel syrup. Mix well and strain into mugs. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.
7. Cardamom Chai
In a pot, add one and a half cups of water, one and half cups of milk, desired amount of sugar and simmer on medium-high heat. Finely grind 1/2 teaspoon of decorticated (pod removed) cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle. When the water/milk mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat, add preferred amount of loose tea and the fresh cardamom powder, gently stir and cover. Steep for five minutes. Strain with a tea strainer and serve.
8. Doodh Patti
Add one cup of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the preferred amount of loose tea and simmer for two minutes. Add 2 cups of full cream milk and simmer for as long as you like. Stir constantly to get thick strong tea. Strain into cups and add desired amount of sugar. Enjoy.
9. Iced Chai
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan and add preferred amount of loose tea. Simmer for five minutes and strain into a large bowl. Once cooled, pour tea into an ice tray and freeze for a couple of hours. Make any kind of chai that you like. Strain and pour into a large bowl to cool. Once cooled, add tea ice cubes into a tall glass and pour your chai into the glass. Enjoy.
10. Chocolate Chai
In a saucepan, bring one cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat; add loose tea or tea bags. Cover and steep for five minutes. Stir in three tablespoons of sugar and three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add three cups of milk and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir on low heat for about five minutes – do NOT boil. Turn off the heat and strain into mugs. Top with whipped cream if desired.
11. Kashmiri Chai (Pink Tea)
In a saucepan, combine two cups of water with two teaspoons of Kashmiri chai leaves or pure green tea leaves. Simmer uncovered on low heat for three – five minutes. Add in 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and whisk for ten seconds. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom seeds and tea becomes bright red. Reduce the heat to low and add one and a half cups of milk. Whisk constantly to froth the milk. The tea should now be dark pink. If you prefer sweet tea then add your desired amount of sugar. If you want it salty add half a teaspoon of salt or sea salt. Strain into teacups and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
12. Cinnamon Vanilla Chai
Add one cup of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the preferred amount of loose tea and simmer for two minutes. Add 2 cups of full cream milk with one teaspoon of vanilla extract and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Simmer on low heat for five minutes. Stir constantly to make it thick. Strain into cups and add desired amount of sugar. Enjoy.
13. Western Chai
You might have encountered chai lattes or chai tea at Starbucks or coffee shops in the West. This form of “chai” is made from a powder concentrate and is not very similar to desi chai leaves or patti. Instead of spending five bucks on this knockoff chai, make it yourself! Pour one cup of milk and one cup of water into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Add black tea bags or loose tea, three tablespoons of honey, half a teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder, 1/4 of a teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 of a teaspoon cloves. Let the latte simmer for five minutes.Remove from heat and strain into mugs. Enjoy.
If you’re a chai addict try out these amazing chai recipes.
cover image via: chowhound.com