In Hindi, “chai” means simply a cup of tea with milk and sugar. There are so many variations that an entire book could be written on ways to make chai. Vij’s chai goes very well with Indian desserts or as an after-dinner drink in place of dessert.
12-15 green cardamom pods
5 1/2 cups (1.4 L) water
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) fennel seeds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sugar
3/4 cup (180 mL) milk
Place a small bowl and tea strainer beside the stove. With a knife or your hands, peel the green cardamom skins halfway so you can see the seeds inside. In a kettle or a large pot, combine water, cardamom pods, fennel, and sugar; stir once, then bring to a boil on medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil vigorously, add teabags. Stir once and boil for 1 minute, or 1 1/2 minutes for slightly stronger tea. Using a spoon, remove teabags and place them in the bowl. Discard these later.
Reduce the heat to medium and add milk. Heat for 30 to 45 seconds, then turn off heat. Place the tea strainer over each cup individually and fill. You should have enough to fill 6 cups.
Be careful, as this is very hot chai.
source: "Vij's", alive #303, January 2008
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