Friday, May 15, 2009


Nothing takes me back to India like some hot Chai tea. Wait, I've never been to India, but Miguel has and he came back with video footage from his new Canon 5D, which is a digital camera that does HD video that rivals some professional video cameras. Enough with the geek tech talk. We watched his video on our big flat screen and it was like we were there. What was so great was that since Miguel was filming with the photo camera no one knew he was filming so everyone's body language was really natural like they are not on camera. It created such a vivid idea in my mind of what India must be like that last night I had a bizarre dream that I was there with my mom, my brother Mike and Nonna. What a group! The hotel put us in this really strange room that was basically a public restroom with a subway train above it. I was not happy and got a refund and we drove all over Indian all night long in a rental car looking for a new hotel. Very strange. One thing I loved about India, from living vicariously through Miguel's trip was that everyone invited him into their house for Chai Tea. Here's my version, which I adapted from Padma Lakshmi's recipe in her book Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet. She uses 1/4 cardamom powder which I find a bit overpowering and I began using the pods which have a fresher flavor. Also, she doesn't use cinnamon in her recipe but I have seen it in other Chai Tea recipes. I need no excuse to use cinnamon anywhere. I also substitute regular milk for soy milk.

Chai Tea
1/2 inch of fresh grated ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom powder or 2-3 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3-4 darjeeling tea bags or regular black tea
1 C. soy milk (or regular)
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP brown sugar

Bring the spices to a boil in 4 C. of water, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring down to a simmer and steep for 5 min. Strain. This makes about 4 C. I store the leftover in a mason jar in the fridge and enjoy it cold.  

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