Saturday, August 24, 2013

How to make Chai Tea Latte

Masala chai

{A Girl At the local Starbucks} Can I have a Chai Tea Latte?
{Ancient} Me : "Chai Tea Latte"? That's "tea tea milk"..? That's like saying Starbucks Starbucks coffee. Or maybe not..Starbucks is a proper noun....Ok so may be its equivalent to saying "Chocolate Chocolate biscotti" or "Whole wheat whole wheat pasta".

Yes, that is what it is equivalent to!

Masala chai is an Indian drink made my adding a blend of aromatic spices in freshly brewed tea and served hot.
Masala = Spices
Chai = Tea
It is a staple in our home and indeed, in most Indian homes. Every family has a different way of preparing their favourite brew. Some alter the ratio of the different spices, some would add more milk than water in this recipe.

While staying in New York, sharing an apartment with 2 other roommates, there would be 3 different types of tea that were made EVERY morning. Even in the morning rush that all of us used to be in, we would not budge and have the tea the other roomie was making. One used to simmer it for very long, which would make it thick and slightly burnt tasting for my liking, one used to have her own special blend of darjeeling tea with honey, and I used to have my good ole spiced chai. I usually grind up a big batch of spices every few weeks for my chai.

Masala chai

Here is what you will need to make 4 cups of Masala Chai

  • 3 Cardamom pods - Discard the outer peel, use only the seeds from the pod
  • 1 Cinnamon stick 1 1/2" stick
  • few pepper corns
  • a teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1" piece of ginger
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons assam or darjeeling tea
  • 3 and half tablespoons sugar. Brown sugar works beautifully in this recipe, but regular granulated sugar is fine too.

  1. Grind the spices into a powder.
  2. Place the water in a saucepan, and add the tea to it.
  3. Add in the sugar and the ground spices
  4. Grate the ginger piece and put it in the saucepan
  5. Once the concoction comes to a boil, add in the milk
  6. Simmer it all for about a minute or two so that all the flavours combine
  7. When it starts coming to a boil again, take it off the heat and pour it in your tea cups using a sieve.
  8. Enjoy it hot with a biscuit or 2.
P.S: This was last posted on my blog a few years ago, but being the loyal chai enthusiast, I still make it the same way. I reposted as it saddens me to see the blog not tended to for so long. I wrote about what has kept me away here. I am aching to come back to this blogging and writing world, but to be honest, the bills have to be paid, and this blog hasn't helped me on that :-). Not that it was ever the intention, but between a full time job and spending time with a toddler, this space has been pushed down in the list.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Olive straws

You're hosting a last minute party and are bored of the same old chips and dip and samosa's from the halwai, but have no great kitchen skills to speak of ? Sound familiar? Yeah, we've all been there! Or you want something nice and fresh from the oven, but have neither the patience nor the time?

Puff Pastry! The answer to all of your kitchen troubles! Well, ok ..some of.
Have a load of frozen puff pastry in the freezer - and surely something good will come out of your oven. I guarantee :-)
I mean what is puff pastry - flour and butter. Loads of butter! So much butter that you can't really go wrong with it !

So for this quick snack - get some puff pastry, a bit of all purpose flour (maida), a bit of milk or beaten egg to brush and olives. Just get your choice of olives - green, black, pitted,stuffed -whatever you like.

Roll out a pastry sheet using a bit of flour for dusting, and lay the olives in multiple rows.
Brush a bit of milk/beaten egg in between the rows of olives and along the edges. You could also dip your fingers in milk and sweep them across the empty areas of the pastry sheet.
Cover with another pastry sheet.
Cut across the covered pastry sheet it all sounding too complicated? Just watch this video from Martha Stewart. I forgot to take the pictures while assembling the dish. So its easier with a video I'm sure.

I prefer using pitted olives without any stuffing - simply because they create a smaller bump. While using big fat stuffed olives, the end result looks a bit like ...i dunno..eyes popping out or something..which is not very appetizing for me :))
Anyways, bake the dish at 425 degrees F(218 C) for just about 5 to 6 minutes.

The best thing about this recipe is that it hardly takes about 5-6 minutes to bake. So once you are done with the assembling, (and please do the assembling on the tray you will use in the oven), you can keep the tray in the fridge and bake the dish right in front of your guests. Just do not put the tray in a cold oven. Pre-heat it so the oven is ready for the baking.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Where have I been?

For all those still checking this space - first of all thank you!
And to answer your question on why and where I have disappeared - well I had a baby :)
Initially the cravings that come with the pregnancy ensured that I stayed away from all food blogs - you know whenever I would visit your blogs and see all those yummy brownies and pies, I would have an instant craving for it. So I decided to stay away in order to curb my cravings and stick to a healthy eating plan.
And now, the cutie pie keeps me busy :) I am very regular now on all your wonderful blogs and sites, and am cooking as well - its just that the effort it usually takes producing nice pictures and presentable food for the blog has been lacking.
So theres my reason. Feel free to mail me if you have any questions and just to say hello :)
Take care.