I would like to share this wonderful and healthy chai masala recipe that I got from my Punjabi friend here in Singapore.
Being born and brought up in the state of Maharashtra I learnt to savor tea infused with spices known as “Masala Chai”(Tea infused with spices) back in Mumbai.
The spice mix would always manage to give a punch to the otherwise normal cup of tea.
So when it’s raining and we are totally drenched or having a cold we would always go for a ginger laced tea or Masala tea.
Even the street stalls and restaurants serve the masala chai, its commonly available in India.
What totally surprised me was when I found a version of the Masala chai at the McCafe at Singapore known as the Himalayan Tea Latte - A hot and calming exotic milk tea with a soulful infusion of spice flavor. They claim it to be a hot favorite. I nudged Yo (my husband) and pointed to the Menu feeling proud to find our Masala chai being internationalized and described so beautifully.
So what should be the ideal mix of spices one may ask.
The spices vary according to the place, the climate conditions in a particular region and sometimes due to personal preferences. But a typical Indian tea masala includes a combination of the following spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. They may also include Bishops weed, fennel seeds and other variants in some recipes.
Ideally if the spices are ground fresh and added to the tea it would taste good, But, since I belong to the generation which hardly has time for such luxuries. I made my tea masala for keeps. I made a small batch which I could use over a period of a month.
The spices in the tea masala are known to aid in digestion, provide heat during cold weathers like winters or rains, they are believed to chase a fever or cure a cold.
I believe that they are soothing and refreshing and add a zing to your regular cuppa.
My friends recipe doesn’t have peppercorns, but mine has.
Here is my recipe for Punjabi Tea masala, do make it and savor your tea with the soulful infusion of the spices.
Big Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 3
Small Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 10-12
Cloves (Lavang/Laung) – 3-4
Dried Ginger (Saunth / Soonth) – 1 piece or alternatively you can use the ginger powder about 1 and a half tablespoon.
Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) – a pinch
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fennel seeds(Saunf) – 1 tablespoon
Dry roast all the ingredients for 7-8 minutes until you can get a faint aroma of the spices. Let it cool completely. Once it is cool run it in the dry jar of a mixer/blender and grind into a fine powder. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Use the masala as and when required to make tea.
Enjoy this with some biscuits while catching some news in your morning newspaper.