India taught me that real tea is very different from the sad little tea bag that we dip in hot water. Indian tea is flavorful, strong, sweet, warms you up when you are cold, cures you when you have a slight fever, gives you the strength needed to teach 5th grade kids for two more hours and makes you have wonderful conversations with strangers.
What is the secret of this tea? What does this tea have that makes it so special? The most popular way to drink Indian tea is the famous masala chai, a sweet milk tea aromatized with cardamom or ginger. Masala chai is a way to socialize at home and outside (in most of the streets of India you can find a chai wallah, a street tea seller).
However, the magic of this tea does not come alone. Sometimes it is about the intention with which you get this tea or the person that gives it to you or what comes with it. In Hinduism, gods are guests and guests are gods. Thus, hospitality turns into an act of worship. The guests are happily welcomed with water and hot chai, together with the taste of mouthwatering traditional sweets such as coconut laddus (a round sweet made of coconut and jaggery) or gulab jamun (a round dough soaked in rose water and cardamom syrup).
So, if you ever want to become the perfect host or gain a completely new perspective on tea, follow this recipe to make (the best) masala chai (ever).
For two people you will need:
– 1/2 cup water
– 4 tsp black tea
– 1 tsp crushed ginger
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 4 tsp sugar
First, put the water in a pot and add the black tea and the ginger. Once the water boils, add the milk and the sugar. Let the milk boil and stir. Strain and serve with Parle G cookies or similar.
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