Friday, November 18, 2011

Long Overdue Chai Recipe

So many people have asked me for the chai recipe that I use at the Healesville Organic Market and on our tours at Tenderbreak. I am more than happy to share it.

The amounts of ingredients I have written here are for quite a number of people...say at least 14 people, so adjust amounts according to roughly how many people will be drinking it. You can probably tell that I’m an “add a bit of this and add a bit of that” person!!!!!

My chai recipe doesn’t have any tea in it so it is caffeine free. Not all chai recipes have tea in them anyway.

·       Sticks of cinnamon
·       Green cardamom pods
·       Star of anise (whole)
·       Cloves (whole)
·       Bay leaves (your own tree or someone else you know may have one)
·       Fresh ginger (organic from our Organic Healesville market )
·       Chilli or cayenne (use own if you grow it)
·       Soy milk (Organic)
·       Water (we use our own tank water)
·       Honey (we use local Cathedral Valley honey from Healesville Organic Market.)
·       Piece of vanilla pod (if desire)

 Grab a reasonably large stainless steel saucepan or pot.
Throw in:-
·       5 or 6 cinnamon sticks (broken up a bit with your hands),
·       One and a half handfuls of green cardamom pods,
·       a handful of star of anise
·       a sprinkling of cloves....say about a dozen or so
·       3 bay leaves (fresh or dried),
·       6 cm or so of fresh ginger root sliced.(if you are a ginger lover like me then adjust amount to your taste)
·       Pinch of chilli or cayenne (be careful with the amount of this as too much will overpower the brew and the tasters may gasp, choke and try to hide their streaming eyes!!)  

Now, cover the ingredients with water so that the water level is about 4 cm above the ingredients.
Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 15 to 20 mins.
Turn the stove off. Leave the pot with lid on to cool down for a few hours or at least an hour. This will allow the flavours from the spices to infuse into the water.

When ready to make the chai, bring infused water back to the boil with added soymilk.  Add enough soymilk  (about 1 litre)  to the water to make a nice milky chai. I haven’t made this chai with cow’s milk but I’m sure it would be just as fine. When you add the milk, DO NOT put the lid on the saucepan, as it will froth up and boil over making one big mess!!

Don’t forget the honey!! I add about a good heaped one and a half tablespoonfuls to the brew. It’s up to you if you are more or less a sweet tooth. The chilli or cayenne can be added now or left out whichever you wish. Grating a little bit of whole nutmeg on top of the cup of chai adds that last exotic flavour!

As you may already realise, this recipe is just a guide for you as far as amounts go but with a bit of twitching and adjustment you will come up with your very own favourite version. One of the lovely things about this recipe is that you can keep topping up with more water and milk if people want more and your brew is running low. Remember to add a bit more honey if you are doing this.

Another great thing is that if you want chai another day from the same spices (say 3 or 4 days later) then drain off all liquid (don’t waste it ...drink it). Wash the spices in the sieve under cold running water, then store in an airtight container in the fridge. When you next want to use them, put into the pot, bring to boil, simmer for a while , let cool naturally for spice flavours to infuse ,then follow the original recipe as above.

A handy hint for pouring chai into your cups is ...use a soup ladle and pour through a tea strainer that you can perch on top of the cup.

Happy Chai drinking with family and friends!!!!!!!
Claire and Graeme enjoying a cup of chai at Healesville Organic Market

I wish to thank Linda George for happily allowing me to play around with her chai recipe.


The Potty Knitter said...

Thank you Heather, I will definitely give this a go.

Andrew and Heather said...

Angie , you will also get the added bonus of beautiful spice aromas drifting through the house.

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