Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Too Chai with L o v e
Swami Muktananda (personal) Chai Recipe from the Siddha's
Chai is a rich and complex beverage that has been savored for centuries in many parts of the world, especially India. Traditionally consumed hot and sweet. The sweetness is needed to bring out the full flavors of the spices.
Interestingly enough Chai is simply the word for “tea” in Hindi and several other Asian languages. The spicy, milky variety known in India as masala chai is simply called “chai” in the US.
What makes great chai? What makes it taste so good? Well, for a start, freshly selected and grounded ingredients, blended together and left to settle for several hours or sometimes overnight to 'ripen' add a dash of the l o v e of sharing tea with friends and family and stir, to make the perfectly delicious spicy chai experience many of us have come to love and enjoy over the years.
It is always challenging to write down a recipe which is never 'fixed'. My wife Erin says; best chai comes from 'the Heart'. She started with the recipe given to us by a dear friend (a Siddha who prepared this for Gurumai for many years and it was said to be Baba's favorite) and has evolved it to this (this baba's favorite ;) and now it is offered for you to experiment and as your confidence grows and it finds your own 'touch'. Making chai is fun; relax and enjoy this great eastern tradition. Never make it in a tense or hurried mood; work with love, respect and a light heart, and your 'chai' ( you could read 'life' here), will always be great. May the Chai welcome you too!
*4 Cups water
*handful of black tea (Darjeeling or Assam) or 6 bags
*dried or fresh ginger (i use both) tablespoon dried+shredded fresh ~ this is a good starting point and recommend experiment w/this to discover just how "spicy" you like it.
*1 cinnamon stick (2 if small)
*1 tablespoon black peppercorns (slightly cracked)
*1 1/2 tablespoon Cardamom seeds (slightly ground)
*15 whole Cloves
*2/3 cows milk or goat
*desired amount sugar
*bring water to a boil, with Cinnamon and ginger in pot.
*mix spices together and in a pre-heated sauce pan ~ dry fry the spices for 5-7 seconds stirring the whole time
*add spices to pot of water and let simmer for 20/30 minutes
*Add tea and let sit for 5 minutes, strain.
*Put back into pot and Add Sugar and Milk