Anan Amas (chaiwala) wrote in cchhaaii,
Anan Amas

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Everyone here is talking about powders and pre-made chai but it's really easy to make your own, and it expresses your own personality and you can change it from day to day depending how you feel. I just got back from 100 days in india and nepal and I'm on a chai high.

So my chai typically includes:

water, soymilk mixed about 50/50
whole black peppercorns
cardamom (whole pods)
nutmeg (fresh grated from the nut)
cinnamon (grated from a cinnamon stick)
ginger (sliced or grated, fresh)
sucanat (which is evaporated sugar cane juice, like a whole sugar)
black tea
one all-important grain of sea salt

It's great stuff! I make it every morning and put it in a nice old stanley thermos that keeps it hot all day. I'm a carpenter and I stop now and then during the day to drink the chai, especially now during the winter. Sometimes I smoke a bidi then too and it's just like being back in India.

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do you use a black tea bag or is a liquid?

what is a bidi?

i use loose black tea -- everything is bulk, all the spices.

a bidi is a small indian cigarette type of thing, like a tiny bit of tobacco rolled in a tendu leaf, which is the leaf of a tree.
For basic chai I just use elychee/cardamom and a slice or two of fresh ginger. I almost never use cinnamon or nutmeg although the chai popularized in America often includes it (especially cinnamon!). It's also nice to add a little fennel seed from time to time. Black pepper adds that extra little spicy kick which is nice.

I personally feel it's essential to make chai over the stove and bring the milk to a slight boil (with the tea leaves). Then, after you strain your tea, you have a nice little brown skin on top and that slightly different flavor from milk that has been brought to a boil. Perfect!
Yes -- that's the way... bring the milk to a slight boil and as soon as it boils and rises, it is done -- no more cooking.
i've been looking for a good chai since i left nepal. i travelled throughout nepal, india & pakistan a few years ago and have since been looking for a good chai w/o milk. i'll have to try that recipe. thanks!
i just have to have starbucks. it is tHE only chai. i'll have to try homemade sometime, though:)

yes, there ARE other peopel as obsessed as i!
I really (really, really) can't stand the chai at Starbucks. I wanted to like it. It's convenient and whatnot, but I can't stomach it. For now I'll stick with Mocafe and Big Train. One day though, I'll try and make it myself :)