Chai, cha, tae, black, green, white. Tea in any language or form is a lovely gift from the Creator, and my favorite preparation is the spicy, milky chai served on the Indian subcontinent. I have never served chai without somebody asking for the recipe, so here is how I make 4 to 5 quarts at a time. The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, and you can make it on the stove in 40-45 minutes or in the crockpot if you have 4-6 hours.
- 3-4 quarts of water
- 8 Black Tea bags
- 2-3 12 oz cans Evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz can Sweetened condensed milk
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- Sugar to taste (for some, the sweetened milk is enough), add a tablespoon at a time
- 10-20 cloves
- 20ish black and/or red peppercorns (I rarely use.)
- 5-8 quarter sized slices of fresh ginger (I always use.)
- 2-3 star anise (I never use.)
- Bring the tea and spices almost to a boil.
- Add the milks and sugar.
- Don’t let the chai come to a rolling boil as the cinnamon and tea may become bitter. Some preparations call for this, but with the canned milk, steady low heat is better.
- More spices means more flavor.
- Add your spices to a tea ball or cheese cloth packet for ease of removal before serving. After serving, you can put the spices back in for storing and additional flavor.
- Take the tea out before serving. Do not put the tea back in as it can become bitter.
That’s it. It is super simple! Be prepared to never want to purchase any drink that masquerades as chai. Ever. Again.