Ginger Cardamom Tea – the morning cuppa

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. -Henry James

Tea is the most often drunk beverage in India. There be no need of time of the day or reason to have a cup of tea. When I got married, I was very surprised to see that we had about 8 cups of tea in a day. We would start with the “Bed tea”, followed by tea with breakfast, tea for all the times someone would come home, afternoon tea, 7 ‘ o ‘ clock tea and even tea before bed. There was always a practice of making tea in bulk. We often had guests dropping in, but be it one person or five, tea was made for everybody..!! For a hostel girl who could hardly manage 1 cup of tea a day,  (+ or -) 8 was an astounding number.

Ginger is a very useful spice found in the kitchen. Younger Ginger rhizomes are used in cooking , pickling and even made into candy. They are fleshy and juicy as opposed to the mature ones which are dry and the juice of which is quite potent. In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps and  ginger biscuits . In Indian and Pakistani cuisine ginger is used in making teas and curries both as a root and also in its powdered form. Ginger has been found effective in multiple studies for treating nausea. It has been shown to promote digestion and also in preventing colds.

GINGER CARDAMOM TEA – ADRAK CHAI

  • Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Ginger – 1 large
  • Cardamom – 5 to 6
  • Peppercorns – 5
  • Sugar -3 tsp or as needed
  • Tea powder – 1 1/2 to 2 tsp depending on the strength.
METHOD
  • Take the water in a saucepan.
  • Toss in the crushed ginger, crushed cardamom and peppercorns.
  • Bring the water to a boil on high flame. Once it starts boiling, reduce the flame and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the milk to the ginger mix.
  • Add the sugar and the tea powder to the tea mixture and bring to a slow boil.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes so that all the flavors blend.
  • Check for sugar and sweeten as per taste.
  • Strain and serve hot with biscuits on the side.
Most Keralite houses make plain tea devoid of any flavoring. However I got hooked onto the adrak chai in Delhi, when a batch of us were there during the Nehru Bal Sangh National Integration Camp of 1996. In the freezing cold, bundled in layers of jackets, socks, boots and mufflers, the ringing of the breakfast bell was a welcome sound. We would all huddle up in that tent with steaming cups of ginger tea. After marriage this became a regular visitor in my house. We prefer the ginger tea any day because it soothes the throat, brings a warmth to the body and removes any constrictions in the throat that might later be cough inducing. I would say, ginger tea is our morning tonic for good health during winter. This recipe will be perfect for those who love the flavor of ginger. Those who are not into it much, please reduce the amount of ginger. I betcha you will still have the perfect cuppa.

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