In India, people usually have a break in the middle of a street especially in the morning to drink a cup of this warm spiced tea with milk, just like our Italian habit of having coffee. It is so common in India that, if we ask for Tea at an Indian kiosk, expecting to be given a nice cup of classic black Tea, we will be disappointed because we will be served some good Chai, this is their Tea. If we wanted black Tea, we would be specific by saying Black Tea, but once we have a taste of Chai, be sure we’ll never ask for black tea again!
Chai Tea is an energizing and activating drink for Agni (digestive fire), it provides energy and rejuvenates but in a sweet way, less violently compared to coffee. We can use different combinations of spices to make it more or less warming and spicy: for Kapha we can add black pepper, which is not recommended for Pitta who should add instead brown sugar or jaggery. The original recipe includes cow milk and leaves of black tea, we suggest vegetable milk (according to the predominant dosha) and leaves of green tea (less stimulating).
Curiosity: if, after tasting Chai, you still feel the need to have coffee sometimes, we suggest you add 1 or 2 pods of cardamom either in your cup or in the moka pot. They will add pleasant flavor and soothe the negative effects of coffee, like anxiety and tachycardia.
- ½ liter water
- ½ liter milk
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of green (or black) tea
- ghee as required
- 8 pods of cardamom
- 5 buds of cloves
- 1 cm of pippali
- 2 cm cinnamon bark
- 2 cm of fresh ginger, sliced in cubes
- vanilla (optional)
- star anise (optional)
- black pepper (optional)
- jaggery or whole brown sugar as required (optional)
Pour water into a pot with tea and bring it to a boil on a high heat. Add in roughly mashed spices, let it boil for some minutes, add optional sugar or jaggery, then add milk. When it starts boiling again, add ghee and let it boil for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat, filter and serve.