Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Homemade Tea Masala : Ek Garam Chai Ki Pyali Ho...

Being a non tea drinker, the only thing that that tea (or chai as it is commonly known as worldwide now) reminds me of, is watching the Bollywood actor Salman Khan slurping a cup of tea and then dancing showing off his muscular body, along with a bunch of girls wearing beachwear on some remote beach!!! I used to enjoy this song " Ek garam chai ki pyali ho" as a child, but never really understood the connection between a beach and tea..Maybe what they wanted to convey was " hotness" and that's why they had those hot girls dancing in beachwear!!! Nevertheless, Salman Khan songs and movies are always a stress-buster and full of entertainment, one need not scratch the brains finding a "meaning" behind it all. 

Chocolate tea, kid? : Coming from a family of tea-drinkers at literally any time of the day... yes, there is no "morning" tea funda in our home. All my family members, including my extended family and relatives, love tea and i was always the odd one out ! I have never tasted tea... i always had milk as a child and then slowly, i developed the taste for coffee. I remember, when once our family, a group of almost 28 people, had gone for a holiday to Ooty, it was winter time! Everyone relished the different types of flavoured teas available there ( there was clove, fennel seeds, ginger, cinnamom, bay leaves.. the list went on ). Knowing i was the only one not liking tea, the shopkeeper had proposed to offer me "chocolate tea" ( i was a kid back then, so he thought i would of course love chocolate flavour ). I was adamant till the end and didn't taste even a sip of it !!!

Post my marraige, i learnt that, at my in-laws' place, they always had tea with freshly grated ginger. I also remember my mother adding ginger, or sometimes elaichi ( cardamom ) to the tea to add flavour. My mother-in-law gave me a homemade tea masala and also its recipe when i was coming to Delhi. She mentioned, it tastes great even with coffee. Though i have never tasted it with coffee, my husband ( he loves drinking tea 2-3 times a day when he's home) loves this masala. I have had this once with warm milk when i was feeling "under the weather". And i truly vouch for this one! So this one is dedicated to my "Mother- in -law" :)

Me, The "Chaiwaali " : I made this masala chai for one of my husband's friend who visited us one morning and he loved it so much, that he has placed an order to make it in bulk and give him !!!!
I think i should seriously think of it as a business idea and market myself as the "Chaiwaali"...:)

Ingredients :

You can either mix all the powders ( readily available in market ) or use the whole spices and grind them yourself in a grinder. I prefer grinding it myself.

Dried ginger powder - 5 tbsp ( Its easy if you buy this in powder form )
Cardamom seeds - 2 tbsp ( you can even add the few shell covers for taste,i did )
Nutmeg - 1 tsp grated ( Nutmeg loses its aroma very fast when its ground, so always grind the whole nutmeg when needed instead of buying the powder form )
Cloves - 1 tsp
Whole black pepper - 3 tbsp ( This really gives a kick to the tea, so adjust the spice according to taste)
Cinnamon - 3 tsp
Saffron - a few strands 

Recipe :

Grind the whole black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom seeds to a fine powder. Make sure the powder is really fine.
Then add the dried ginger powder, saffron strands and nutmeg powder and mix it well together.
Winters are here...and what better way to start your day with a hot cup of aromatic chai with this spicy masala served as bed tea when you are still tucked in the blanket :) You can experiment adding honey or jaggery instead of sugar if u like, or just add a teaspoonful to the boiling tea or when the tea is ready. It is in powdered form, so it mixes well with the tea. Also making your masala at home ensures quality, and morever you get a "chai latte" or "masala chai" at the most reasonable price than all the coffee shops :)
Happy Cooking :)

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