Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.
How Chai Is Consumed in India
Chai simply means tea—and, in India it means tea with milk. Chai can be flavored with different spices depending on the desired flavor or the season (e.g., summer or winter). Certain varieties may be formulated to address seasonal-related health issues.
The choice of spices depends on the purpose for which tea is consumed. If it is being prepared simply to be an enjoyable cup of tea, it is typically made without any spice, or perhaps only cardamom. On the other hand, if it is being prepared to address certain seasonal health issues like cough, cold or flu, spices like ginger, turmeric, etc, are often added.
When the winter season approaches in India, many home cooks prepare a dry chai spice mix, like the one we are preparing today, that can be made ahead of time and stored. Having the spice mix on hand makes it easy to prepare chai in just a few minutes.
Making this spice mix does take some time. In addition, the small quantities of some of the spices means that it's much more efficient to prepare a large batch, which can last for a month or more.
Because all of the spices are well roasted, the mix has a long shelf life provided it is stored in an airtight glass bottle protected from heat, sunlight and moisture.
In India, this chai masala is believed to boost immunity and provide relief from common wintertime respiratory issues.
Let's now see how this winter season chai masala is prepared.
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- 20 grams hari elaichi (green cardamom)
- 20 grams saunf (fennel seeds)
- 10 grams dalchini (cinnamon)
- 10 grams mulethi (dried liquorice root)
- 5 grams sabut kali mirch (black peppercorns)
- 5 grams laung (cloves)
- 1 jaiphal (nutmeg), broken into pieces
- 5 badi elaichi (black cardamom), break and use the seeds only
- 50 grams dhaagewali mishri (threaded crystallised sugar) or table sugar
- 15 grams sonth (ginger) powder
- Dry-roast all of the ingredients on low heat until they release their aroma and change slightly in color. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer the spices to a plate and let them cool down completely.
- In the meantime, break the mishri into smaller pieces and remove the threads. Set aside.
- Put the cooled spices, ginger powder and mishri pieces in a grinder jar and grind to a fine powder. Stir the mixture often, giving short pulses initially so that the spices grind quickly without getting too hot.
- Remove the spice mixture and let it cool down completely; then store in an airtight glass bottle.
- Use 1/4 tsp of this chai masala for every 2 cups of chai.
Chai Masala Powder (Spice Mix for Tea) for the Winter Season
© 2022 Rajan Singh Jolly