There are so many reasons for me to be excited about having all new recipes in the upcoming session of Whole Food Kitchen. Topping the list, I can share some of my retired course recipes here on the blog! Don't worry, I won't flood this space, but how about just a few here and there? Goodness I've written well over a hundred recipes that have been held for course material, it will be fun (and tasty!) to share some of them here.
A few months ago I stopped drinking coffee in the morning and replaced my lovely get the day going ritual with a mug of homemade chai instead. This new routine slipped a bit during the holidays, but over the weekend I made a huge batch of our chai concentrate to have on hand. Our family returns to work and homeschool routines this week so it will be much appreciated. I really do feel nourished from chai - and as much as I love good coffee, I can't say it ever makes me feel nourished.
As I was preparing this batch I thought you might like the recipe too. There are so many variations out there for making chai, so let this be one more recipe for you to try out. I think the reason I love this is for its similarity to the first chai I ever drank over twenty years ago. This recipe tastes true to that steamy aromatic drink I was first introduced to. Other wonderful recipes can be found that call for yummy additions like orange zest and vanilla, but for me it's all about the traditional spices - cardamom, cinnamon, clove, peppercorn, etc... oh, yum.
Playing with my newly gifted milk frother... Chai Latte anyone?
- 8 cardamom pods
- 6 whole allspice
- 1 3 inch piece cinnamon bark
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger root
- 2 bags black tea
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups milk (raw dairy or alternative)
- 2 tablespoons honey or more to taste (maple syrup may be used)
- In a mortar and pestle, grind spices to crush and break open the seeds and pods.
- Add the spices to one cup of water in a small pan, and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat off, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Add the 2 teabags and bring to a boil again.
- Turn off heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain off the teabags and spices.
- Return tea to pot, add milk and honey, warm until steamy. Stirring.
Print Recipe: Homemade Chai
The recipe I'm including today reads as it was written for my workshop. Start to finish instructions for a pot (or a saucepan) of chai, milk included. If you really like it, and would like an easy way to prepare chai daily, I'd recommend making a large batch of concentrate so you can simple heat it up each morning without dragging all those spices from your pantry. Admittedly, that can be quite a production.
To Make Chai Concentrate:
Multiply the recipe several times up to the point of adding milk, but do not add the milk. Do add honey or maple syrup though. Simply strain spices and tea bags and store the sweetened liquid in a glass jar until future use. When you'd like a mug, heat 1/3 cup of concentrate and 1 cup of milk over low to moderate heat. Enjoy!
I multiply the recipe six or eight times to make a week's worth of chai for my family of three. If you love chai like I do, you might be interested in ordering bulk spices through a place like Mountain Rose Herbs (if you can't source them in bulk locally).
There is an other-worldly experience that comes with drinking chai. The aroma, the time spent handling and gently grinding spices to awaken their natural oils, it sort of carries you away. I love that it doesn't leave me feeling acidic, anxious or agitated the way coffee can. Yet thankfully, chai still provides a warm and robust mug of something yummy to get my winter's day started. I do hope you have a chance to enjoy a mug too.