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Entries in #chai (1)



I love chai. Caffeine doesn't always love me, but when we're getting along, chai's one of my favorites. And I'm not so sold on the super-sweet Starbuck's kind, either (Peet's is borderline, and you have to get soy). There's a place called Samovar in San Francisco that makes an amazing version, and when we lived nearby I used to buy their chai spice/tea mix to make at home. No powder for them--it was tea and spices, and then you did the rest.

Since coming to Stockholm, I've tried to approximate it a few times. I know it must be possible, because I've had chai like it at, oh, most every Indian restaurant where I've ordered it. But I wasn't mixing the spices right, or something.

Now it turns out that maybe I just wasn't cracking the cardamom pods before boiling them. Whatever it was, I have achieved an acceptable level of success, and I wanted to share.

Go here for many, many chai recipes. I made a blend of the 'traditional masala chai 2' using the pre-chopped kind of ginger and ground cinnamon--but it was, as expected when one combines cinnamon/cardamom/ginger, still pretty great. Also, go ahead and throw in the bay leaf and the star anise, if you have them. They're worth it.

And while making excuses for colonialism is one of the last things I'd ever do on this blog, as we sit through our second day of March snowstorms, I begin to understand the northern craze--no, desperation--for spices during the long winters. Makes a difference.