We hope that this ritual of chai-making will become a welcome respite in your day and that you will soon come to appreciate the subtlety of flavour available from a perfect cup of chai.
Ingredients for four large cups:
6 rounded tsp Railway Chai
4 cups water
6 tsp Assam black tea
2 cups whole or soy milk
Place the Railway Chai into a small saucepan and crush slightly to release the flavour. Add the water, bring to a gentle simmer for 15 - 20 minutes; slightly shorter for a delicate flavour or longer for a more robust cup.
After the simmering, remove from heat, add black tea, cover and steep for 5 - 7 minutes, depending on the desired strength. Rooibos, a South African herbal tea, is a good substitute for black tea if you want caffeine free. Or use green tea for a Kashmiri style chai.
In the meantime, heat milk to steaming (160F) but not boiling. Strain the tea mixture into the milk through a sieve and serve, sweetening with sugar or honey to taste. In chai, a little sweetness enhances the spices and rounds out the flavour.
Sit back, close your eyes and savour your chai, allowing the world to slow for just a moment.
For Iced Chai
Follow the above instructions with the following changes:
Use 6 cups of water and approx 7-8 heaping tsp Chai spices. Crush spices slightly before simmering for 25 minutes. Remove from heat add 5 tsp of Assam tea and let steep 5-7 minutes. Strain the tea/spice mix and sweeten to taste. Cool and store in the fridge.
Mix 2 parts of this liquid with one part cold milk and add an ice cube.