Looking at the forecast for a cool, rainy weekend, I realized what I really wanted to do was make and drink Chai tea and watch the movie "You've Got Mail."
Here's a recipe for homemade Chai that I swear by.
I originally blogged this recipe March 4, 2010, and it came from the March "Real Simple" magazine.
Easy Chai Tea
Hands-on time: Five minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 cups
8 cardamom seeds (I bought them at Beachy's in Arthur, but I'm sure you can get them at bulk/health food stores locally)
4 black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
4 bags black tea (such as Darjeeling)
8 teaspoons sugar, or more, to taste
Place the cardamom, cloves and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet. Place the crushed pieces in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk and water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons of sugar, or more, to taste.
Tip: You can make this tea and refrigerate it for up to two days. Reheat in a saucepan or a microwave.
I made some substitutions to this recipe – I used plain soy milk instead of whole milk, and half a teaspoon of ground ginger, rather than sliced fresh ginger. It tasted delicious and perfectly chai-y. The texture was a little thin. Next time, I think I'll try three cups of soy milk and one cup of water.
I feel like two teaspoons of sugar is a lot per cup, but it sure was good. If I make this recipe often, I'll probably start substituting with Splenda or another calorie-free sweetener. I might also try this recipe with vanilla soy milk, for vanilla chai.
The recipe was easy enough to complete in the morning, between loading the dishwasher and getting ready for work. Keep a careful eye on it though, when it gets close to boiling. I let it boil over and had to deal with a sticky mess on my stove.
Photo: from herbalteaboutique.com