Saturday, 18 February 2012

recipe: chai concentrate

If you like chai, you must try this recipe it is sooo yummy and my new favourite winter drink. I was inspired by a recipie I found on 'A wooden nest' blog but I think she got it from elsewhere too. I haven't got such a sweet tooth as some so this recipe doesn't have as much sugar as most chai recipes. Also, chai is usually made with orange but when I first tried it I didn't have any oranges so I used a lemon, and I liked it!

- A saucepan of water I think its about 8 / 9 cups but this is not really crucial.
bring the water just up to the boil, this is just about the amount of time it takes me to grate and grind and squeeze the other ingredients.

- 2 or 3 pieces of cinnamon or a dessert spoonful of ground cinnamon.
- big hunk of ginger, this obviously depends on how much you like ginger but I usually use a whole piece about  or 6 inches. If your ginger is young and fresh with a light skin then leave it on but if it has gone a bit drier then its best to peel it as the skin can be bitter then. Grate the ginger.
- tablespoon of cardamom pods
- 4 star anise
- tablespoon of cloves
- teaspoon black pepper, just smashed to let the flavour out.
- teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 lemon, grate the zest off and then roughly chop and squeeze up the rest, the whole lot goes in we're just trying to release as much flavour as possible. This step can be done with an orange if you kike but I really like the lemony flavour.
- A couple of big handfuls of tea leaves. I have never measured this but just enough to make the water a good dark colour, remember this is a concentrate so you want it darker than you would drink normally. Its roughly a mug full I would guess?!

So, when your water is hot, turn off the heat and put everything you just prepared in. Don't put them into boiling water as it will taste bitter. Put the lid on your pan and leave to steep for about an hour.

Strain out your liquid and then add,
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (I have seen this recipe with up to a cup full of sugar so do it to your taste, you can always add a little to individual cups as you drink it).
- 1 tbsp honey
 - 1 tbsp vanilla

If your liquid is still warm enough to dissolve these then all well and good, if not then just dissolve them in a little hot water first and then pour in.

Enjoy this drink at a ratio of 1 part concentrate, 1 part milk heated up to just before boiling. I have also heard that it is a good summer drink cold over ice but have never tried it.

We store ours in a fancy decanter from the charity shop and leave it out on show where it looks very nice! Keeps for a few weeks but doesn't usually last that long.

Jo x 

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