Recipe of Desi Chai – the Indian Version of Tea
While you may not be oblivious to the fame India and other South Asian territories have received for the delicacies that are prepared by modest vendors on the street, did you know that most common beverage commodities such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks are usually referred to by the flagship brands that are dominant within their respective industries?
Yes, words like ‘coffee’ are seldom ever used; only the name of its manufacturer is! Apart from that, another exhilarating niche of having evening coffee or dining at the roadside in the world’s most largest and culturally diverse continent is the fact that you get a hands-on experience of how your order is prepared – sans any fancy etiquette techniques, since your vendor’s stall is just over a metre in surface area and is just another metre away from you!
How to Make Desi Chai
Video: How to make Desi Chai at home
Without any sophisticated electrical appliances such as an espresso machine or an automatic coffeemaker, all steps of the concept of making tea and coffee are executed manually as much as possible, even the steps of infusing and cooling.
With a glass tumbler in each hand, your tea proprietor or ‘chaiwala’ can be seen enthusiastically flipping his hands up and down with a little bit of beverage flipping in between the two tumblers. Sure-handed and practiced, the chaiwala completes the task without any tell-tale mess or injury.
The result of his labor is a tasty, rejuvenating, warm beverage that is bound to invigorate and replenish you from the inside out! With Yoga and Ayurveda gaining all the hype in the land of temples and tigers, you presumed that these were the only methods that Indians resorted to for staying slim and smart? Not so!
While the how-to part of this specific art of preparing tea/coffee doesn’t require much elaboration, it does take a good amount of time and patience to master. Starting off with a lesser distance between two cups, one could move farther and higher as agility is acquired.
To make a traditional masala chai tea at home, you will need:
- 1 English breakfast teabag, or a teaspoon of loose leaf tea
- 6 green cardamom pods (crushed, shells removed)
- 6 whole cloves
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 peppercorns
- 500 ml freshly boiled water
- 100 ml milk
- Sauce pan, tea strainer, and separate container
- Open the tea bag and place the tea leaves in a saucepan.
- Add boiling water and the spices. Simmer for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Strain through a fine tea strainer into a separate container; return the mixture to the pan.
- Add the milk and sugar. Stir over the heat for 30 seconds. If you have a wire whisk, the beverage may be aerated and cooled to a drinkable temperature by vigorous whisking.
- If you’re feeling brave, you can aerate and cool the chai by copying the practiced movements of the chaiwala, pouring the contents from the pot to a separate container and back again before decanting into a tea cup. Take EXTREME care not to burn yourself! This step takes practice, but imbues the chai with a light, aerated texture and cools it to a drinkable temperature.
OK, I have shown you all I know about how to make a cup of Desi Chai at home. We have included the recipe, the basic steps, and the process of preparation. We hope you like them! Try one of both of these recipes at home yourself, and tell us about your experience in the comments.