(two servings, 10 minutes)
Traditionally, you wouldn’t use ‘good’ tea for this. If you have a fancy high-grade tea, large leaves from a new flush, you don’t usually make chai with it. Typically, tea stalls would use fannings / dust to make chai, and would brew it nice and strong, to give you strength for your labors. Lipton will work just fine for this, if you don’t have access to other teas; I tend to use PG Tips, though Typhoo is also good.
4 T looseleaf black tea or 4 tea bags
1 c. whole milk
1 c. water
1 T ginger juice (or 1 t. ground ginger)
1 stick cinnamon (or 1 t. ground cinnamon)
1 T black peppercorns (or 1/2 t. ground pepper)
3 green cardamom pods (or 1/2 t. ground cardamom)
3 cloves (or 1/4 t. ground cloves)
1/4 t. fresh grated nutmeg
1-2 T jaggery (or dark brown sugar)
1. Combine ingredients in a small pot, and heat on medium until small bubbles form around the edges.
2. Start stirring and bring to a boil.
3. Turn off heat, stir well, turn heat back on to medium, and bring to a boil again. (This will be thoroughly stewed, with flavor infused intensely in the chai. Note that you need the fat in the milk for full distribution of flavor, so I recommend not using skim milk or just water.)
4. Strain chai into a measuring cup and discard whole spices and tea leaves. Enjoy.
NOTE: If your jaggery is too hard to carve safely, you can microwave it at half power in 10 second increments, checking in between each one. If you heat it too much, it’ll melt, which you don’t want.