Masala in a cuppa Chai makes it all the more interesting at tea time, providing wholesome taste and health.
In India, tea is the most commonly drunk beverage after water of course. People have anywhere between 2 to 5 cups of tea a day. It is not dependent on the weather or the time, but tea is a refreshing drink had by all. In India tea is had the British way, a tea decoction topped with milk and sweetened to taste. Roadside shops sell sweetened tea to travelers. Boys carrying huge cans of hot tea can be spotted in major railway and bus stations. A small glass of tea comes at a price of Rs 5. One can come across numerous tea plantations in India. The best places to go to visit a tea plantation are Nilgiri Mountains, Munnar, Wayanad, Darjeeling and Assam (the largest tea producing state). It is indeed a pleasant sight to see the women carrying baskets on their back, picking the tea leaves.
Picture from Google
In the North tea is often had with some masala added to it. Do Not mistake the masala for garam masala. The content differs and so does the taste. In Kerala we add only some cardamom powder to the tea, to enhance the taste. In the northern states they add a mix of spices to bring out the flavor. this tea is extremely good for general health. I have been following this recipe for almost 5 years now. This masala makes an appearance on the shelf promptly at the start of winter. I strongly believe that it helps clear the throat and prevents us from falling sick. The minute we feel that we might have a sore throat, we have a cup of lovely masala tea. As with all masalas, this needs to be used sparingly. Do not add in large volumes as the tea will taste like liquid masala. Start with 1/2 tsp for 2 cups and work on it to find your best taste.
HOMEMADE TEA / CHAI MASALA
Adapted from Tarla Dalal
- Dry Ginger powder (saunth, chuku) – 1/3 cup
- Cinnamon (dalchini, patta) – 1/4 cup
- Cloves (Laung, grambu) – 1/8 cup
- Peppercorns (Kali Mirch, kurumulagu) – 1/4 cup
- Cardamom (Elaichi, elakkya) – 1/4 cup
- Black cardamom (bada elaichi, karutha elakkya) – 5
- Mace (javitri, jathipatri) – 1/4 cup
- Nutmeg (Jaiphal, jathika) -1/2 piece
- Dry roast the cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamom and black cardamom for about 8 to 10 minutes on a medium low flame. Keep stirring as we do not want our spices to burn.
- Cool the above completely.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the roasted spices.
- Grind all the spices to a fine powder. During the grinding process the spices might get a bit warm. Uncover and let cool.
- Once cooled completely store in an airtight container and use as needed.