I♥CC: A Tea Party with Madhur Jaffrey-Masala Chai~

3 11 2012

It’s time for a tea party at I♥CC this week.  Like many of us, I also selected Masala Chai as my tea.  I used the recipe found on page 196 of Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking.   I selected Masala Chai because I wanted to taste what all these pre-prepped chai options are supposed to taste like.  I’m a fan of tea: hot, cold and in-between.  The two of us drink about a gallon and a half of green and herbal tea daily.  Chai was a bonus…I got to drink it still hot!

I had never occurred to me to steep my spices before my tea was introduced to the hot water, but it sure makes sense.  This is the collection of dry spices that were steeped in simmering water.  After simmering awhile, sugar and milk are added to the mix and brought back to a simmer.  The tea leaves are added last and are steeped off the heat.

I chose Darjeeling tea as my black tea mainly because I had noticed Ms. Jaffrey recommended it in another Masala Chai recipe I’d read.  I picked up half a dozen tea samples after getting acquainted with the concept of teas back when I read “Death by Darjeeling” for Cook the Books.  Somehow, I just knew all these little tastes would come in handy!  Harney & Sons’ Guide to Tea says this about Darjeeling teas:

“Darjeelings also have more tropical fruit flavors like pineapple and guava, and a little more bite than Chinese Black teas from their more hastened oxidation.”  Additionally, they recommend they be brewed at lower temperatures than the Assam regional teas, in the 190 to 212 degree range.  The recipe calls for just about that temperature!

Tasting Notes~
We thoroughly enjoyed this tea!  It was enough for two, easily.  There was still a bit of a tannin bite even with the addition of the milk.  I used whole milk, and I think I’d have liked it with low-fat milk a little better.  We both found the spice combination utterly fabulous and very enjoyable.  Does that mean we’ll like commercial chais?  I don’t know, but I’m more willing to step out and give them a try.  Meanwhile, I have no problem tossing a few spices in a pot of water!

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9 responses

30 11 2012
silver price

Depending on my mood, what I have on hand, I keep switching up the spices in the masala chai. Everything keeps changing but one thing, cardamom. Here’s an ideal spice mix for two cups of tea. Remember what I said before, play around, use what you like, increase what you want, decrease what you don’t like. Its your baby! It might as well be your trade mark.

5 11 2012
teaandscones

Masala Chai is my all time favaorite tea. Nice choice – hot AND cold!! And I really enjoy Childe’s Tea Mysteries.

5 11 2012
Natashya (@kitchenpuppies)

Lovely! I’m so glad you liked it!

5 11 2012
Michelle

I used 2% when I made Jaffrey’s Easy Masala Chai. I agree with Mike–the tea had something too it, but not too much. Isn’t the pepper fun?! A new one for me, but I liked it.

4 11 2012
Kim

I really wanted to give this tea a try, but I totally fell down on the job this week. It sounds like a wonderfully spiced tea. So glad you enjoyed it.

4 11 2012
girlichef (@girlichef)

It definitely looks lovely…and Jaffrey just has so many slight variations in her books. I love the steeping of the spices, first as well.

4 11 2012
Can't Believe We Ate...

Since Hubby didn’t get to try it hot, we shared another pot a little later…this time I added 8 peppercorns…and I loved it even more! Bruce said he could really enjoy a “cuppa” after afternoon chores, especially on cold days.

3 11 2012
Mike Neimoyer

Very nice! I’m glad you liked the masala chai! I find that I like 1% milk when I make mine, to give it some body without making me think I’m drinking liquid pudding! 😉 I love it hot during winter, and chilled during the summer.

The Republic Of Tea has a very nice “Republic Chai” loose blend that is great, and they also make a “Cardamom Cinnamon” herbal spice blend that is an excellent non-caffeinated way to have chai. 🙂

3 11 2012
Can't Believe We Ate...

Thanks for the heads-up on the non-caff chai! We tend to those here too. Thanks for stopping by!

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