The first really chilly weekend is upon us up here in Southwest Michigan, and I’m ready for some warming foods. Last Sunday I stocked up on all the local produce I could find – golden pears, apples, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I love cooking cinnamon-laced fruit compote when it’s cold, sipping on spicy chai tea and cooking spicy and warming soups.
I donned a jacket and took Ashok for a walk after dinner. I got the craving for some homemade chai to take the chill off when I got back. Last winter I purchased the spices from Penzeys and only made it a couple times before summer. I googled a good recipe, pulled out my box of spices and started cooking.
My favorite way to make chai is the traditional Indian way. You boil the tea, spices, sugar and whole milk together on the stove. It is so creamy and delicious that I can’t help but drink it in one day. But it’s too much fat in several cups of whole milk for one day, and I truly don’t do well on that much caffeine. I save that for special occasions. With a concentrate, I can sweeten and add milk and tea later. It’s not quite as addicting, but it’s really good.
So here’s the recipe I used last night. But you adjust the spices however you want, and there are plenty of versions on the internet. The great thing about chai is you can adjust the heat or sweetness by changing up the kind or quantity of spices. Use orange peel for a citrus scent or chili powder for a kick in the butt!
When making tea: