An Attempt at Indian Chai

On Tuesday night, my husband Doug and I went out to an Indian restaurant called Chapati.  This restaurant came with some good accolades from one of Doug's Indian co-workers and we were not disappointed.  The homemade cheese, fried in chickpea batter, came with marvelous dips  - it reminded us both of a night on our honeymoon in Tahiti when we took a bus to the top of one of the island mountains and had a fondue dinner with more dips than our palettes could handle.

Anyway...back to our dinner.  The food was great and my taste for spicy food was greatly satisfied but the highlight of the evening was the chai tea I ended my meal with.  Now, you must understand, I have bought bulk chai tea from Frontier for a couple of years now.  Here is what it looks like:

But in the past, I just used the tea like an English tea, seeping it and then drinking it.  I thought that was what I was ordering at the Indian restaurant, to my delight I was greatly mistaken.

Indian chai tea, per the owner of Chapati, is a slow brewed tea that is "mostly cream and little bit of water...boiled and stirred for a very long time and then sweetened".  I had to find a recipe that could recreate this wonderful, latte like tea, at home.  Here is the process I followed to get a very comparable tasting tea.

Recipe makes 4 servings:

Start with 3 cups of water in a pot and add 4 teaspoons of bulk chai tea.  Heat to boiling.  Remove from heat and cover for a couple of hours.

Next, mix into the seeped tea: 2 cups of half-and-half and 2 cups of cream, 2 Tablespoons of honey, and a slice of crystalized ginger.

Cook the mixture, stirring often, on medium heat until the creamy tea comes to a boil.  Boil for at least a few minutes and then then keep at a low heat until you are ready to strain the tea and serve.


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