Saturday, December 4, 2010


I haven't really made chai with the regularity of which I did back in the hellhole, but I do still remember!

After looking up recipes, and trying stuff out, a mix of 50/50 water and milk seems to work best.

Bring the water to a boil, then add: milk, black tea, and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, etc.). Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the color that you'd like. Serve hot.

I like to make a big ol' pot of this, and just keep reheating it on the stove for each mug. It's so nice and comforting; and now that I have to be frugal, it keeps me from going to cafes as much. :-P


  1. Oh, that looks like good old chai all right! It;s funny, masala chai ('spicy tea', or 'tea made with spices') is not really a Bengali thing. We drink strong-brewed black tea with sugar, and often with about a tablespoon of milk, but that's added AFTER the tea is done brewing and has already been poured in cups.

    I have a feeling we copied this off the Brits, but who knows, the Brits might have copied it off us. There never was another race like them for stealing ideas and passing them off as their own!

    Oh and you comment on my pantry post triggered so many new realisations, I'm amazed. I mean, I never would have realised how much Indians look down upon eaing out regularly, and how some older Americans do too, had it not been for that. I mean these things can dance right in front of your nose, but you're so used to them you don't really notice.

    For example, right after I came home, I remember one of my cousins said she had begun spending her free time after college in a cafe, reading. Instead of going home. I remember she said it defiantly, with a tone of, "I am doing this, and I dont care how crazy you think I am".

    The entire family turned to stare at her, appalled, just not getting why anyone would sit with a bunch of strangers, in possibly not a very comfy chair, right next to a loud, dusty main road, and pay roughly forty times for a smaller portion of the same thing.

  2. Huh. I wish that I had more of an aversion to going out, but yeah. I don't. :-P

    I wonder what made that change... probably women in the workforce I'm going to guess.

  3. I've no aversion to going out either. Man, I love it. But only abroad. In India all working women have domestic help, plus people live with/very close to extended family, and here we don't have restaurants specialising in Indian/Bengali food. So if I want something from my own cuisine, we'll have to make it at home. The fact that American towns have American restaurants was such a revelation to me! =P

  4. So then how does a visitor have bengali/indian food? By stopping at someone's house? If, for example, I was visiting Calcutta, I wouldn't want Indian-style Chinese food, I'd want Indian-style Indian food!

  5. There's one--ONE--restaurant now that serves Bengali food, but it's not like a nice affordable diner. It's more like a fancy place where prices are large and portions are small. On the other hand, there ARE places that specialises in food from other parts of India. I suppose the pattern is repeated in most parts of India -- local specialities are served only in homes, but things from other states/ethnicities are served in restaurants.

    Weird, huh? Again, I totally didn't realise this till I started talking to you. I should talk to you more often!

  6. Clearly, I am magical. Also, no one pays attention to what's familiar. Fact. Look it up. :-P