Einar’s Authentic Indian Chai
11-12 cups of water
2 cups grated ginger (if coarse, otherwise 1.5 cups fine)
10 cinnamon sticks
large handful of cloves (2 heaping tbsp)
1 heaping tbsp cardamom seeds
approximately 2 handfuls black tea (1/2 cup)
1/2 gallon soy milk
approx 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
1. Boil water.
2. Add grated ginger. Boil 15 minutes.
3. During that 15 minutes, crush and add cinnamon sticks.
4. Crush and add cloves.
5. Crush cardamom seeds.
6. After the ginger/cinnamon/clove mixture has boiled for 15 minutes, add the crushed cardamom to the boiling water. Boil for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Add black tea. Boil for another 7 minutes. The tea mix is now complete. Strain. You can now put the tea mixture aside for use later. Refrigerate if overnight, then reheat.
8. In a separate pot, bring soy milk to the verge of boiling.
9. As soon as it is warm, add sugar. You can add additional sugar to taste, either now or after combining the sugar/milk mixture with the tea mixture.
10. Mix tea and milk, strain, and enjoy.
Makes enough for a LARGE crowd. You can cut down the recipe as needed.
A local Indian grocery would be a good (and cheaper) source for ginger in bulk and the spices. These stores also have cardamom seeds without their pods. It is a real pain to shell them. We like Bharat Bazaar (3680 El Camino Real California (CA) Phone: (408) 247 4308) at El Camino and Lawrence Exp in Santa Clara.
… If you grind the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (coffee grinders work very well), then use approximately 1/2 the amounts above.
… No need to peel the ginger before grating. Cuisinarts work very well.
… We prefer soy milk. You can use cow milk of your choice.
… Play with the amounts of the spices until it works for you.
… Use green tea or rooibos (South Aftrican red tea, no caffeine) if you want less/no caffeine.
* You can re-use the grounds if you like: just boil the water for longer (maybe 1.5 – 2 hours). The caffeine is much much less in the second set of chai, while the ginger gets a little stronger. We keep the second-boil in the fridge, then mix with milk and microwave. It keeps for a number of days.