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I have searched far and wide for a spicy (garam) chai recipe that could enable people to appreciate the delicate yet utmost balanced flavor profiles of India and China. As it turns out, I never found that recipe... so I created my own.
3 Cups or 24 Ounces of Finished Tea
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Combine all of the spices and the Sucanat in an oven-proof pot or sizzle platter. Place in the oven and roast for 8 minutes or until the spices become extremely aromatic and just begin to smoke. You should check the spices often and swirl them around to heat evenly.
Once done roasting, immediately place the spices into a spice grinder and process until a fine powder is formed. It will have a very strong, pungent cardamom scent, but don't be worried!
Combine the milk and water along with the smashed piece of ginger in a pot. Heat on high until the milk begins to foam and rise upwards. Turn off heat before the foam spills over the sides of the pot and give it a nice swirl with a whisk.
Break out that spice powder you made earlier and whisk into the milk mixture 1 Tablespoon or 3 teaspoons.
Grab a heat-proof beverage container and pour the herbal garam chai mixture into it. For the best flavor results, let cool to room temperature before placing in fridge overnight. Heat or drink cold as desired, but be sure to strain just before consumption.
Sucanat, or unprocessed dried sugar cane juice, can be found at whole foods. Substitute raw sugar if you can't find it.
Make a big batch of the powder and it will last one month in your cupboard without too much flavor loss.
Do not ever bring the mixture to a boil after adding the spices. The volatile oils in cardamom are heat sensitive and will dissipate after boiling.
Add a touch of vanilla extract for a deeper, more exotic flavor.
Steep 1/4 tsp lemon zest with the ginger in the milk mixture if you'd like an extra citrus kick.
Add a few strands of saffron to the milk after it has foamed for a deeper rust color and intense flavor.
This recipe was provided by Aaron Cagle from Chicago.