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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Anti-recipe #31 super yummy chai mix

So, for some reason this pregnancy all I want is chai in the morning. Lately I have had a cup of coffee here or there but seriously I lost all taste for it for awhile, plus the cafeine makes me shaky and weird by mid-afternoon. Chai is the prefect replacement though. A little thicker than regular tea, not as sweet as hot chocolate and not as "shakes-inducing" as coffee.

Problem is, two things really. One, its expensive to buy the box mix. At $5 a box or even 3 boxes for $8 at Costco, eh. Too much. Two, its never the right consistency/sweetness for me. I have been drinking the Tazo blend (bought at Costco) and mixing in just a little with milk into regular tea, just to get a little flavor without the full hit of sugar.

I used it up yesterday.

This morning as I was sipping my regular old black tea, quite grumpily, I thought, you know, I should be able to make this. And, voila, I can! And can I say, it is seriously delicious. I googled a few recipes to get me started. This site here has lots of varieties of recipes from traditional Indian (with spices I have never heard of, although they use full half and half??? Yuck! Can you imagine drinking a full cup of half and half every morning??) to the Americanized super sweet variation (ugh). 

Oh. I just took another sip of my concotion. SO DAMN GOOD.

So really, there are many ways to make it, using a variety of spices. The following is what I did. Luckily because of our gourmet dada we have things like fresh ginger root (which the purists say is a MUST) and cardamom lying around the house. I did not have any peppercorn, which would be better than the dash of pepper I used, or cinnamon sticks, eh. Its good. I am happy.

Per my norm I adapted recipes to make the below concoction. Also, I wanted to make extra to stick in my fridge for the next few days so I made mine without the milk, which I will stir in later, as well as without the honey (some mornings I want more, some less).

little miss climbed up and said "don' worry mama, I here,
I help you!!" phew. thanks girl.
Start with three cups of water. Throw in a few tea bags. I used three Lipton. Put this in a small pan on the stovetop.
Add a few slices of fresh ginger root,  I added five.
Throw in a sprinkling of whole cloves, I used 8 or so.
Add 1 TSB of cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick.
Add 1 TSB of cardamom, or a few cardamom pods (I have never seen these but apparently you can buy them.)
Sprinkle in some black pepper or a few peppercorns
Add a tsp real vanilla or vanilla beans, crushed
Add 1 TSB of sugar

Heat to a boil, then bring to a simmer, stirring every now and then, for around 10 minutes, or until it smells so good you can't stand waiting anymore. (Yes, I totally made this in my robe at 7:45AM, jonesing for real chai) It should be kind of syrupy looking. Filter through a fine wire strainer, you can use a coffee filter if you like, I didn't.

Mix with half milk, sweeten with honey to taste. Store leftovers in fridge for the next morning! (If it lasts that long, guess what I am going to get more of... YUM)

Let me know what variations you come up with! Cheers!


  1. Sounds delish! I wonder how almond milk would taste with it?

  2. you can also make your cup of black tea, sweeten and add milk as normal then to that add in your spices stir and there you go chai without having to wait for it to boil on the stove...
    i add cardamon, ginger, cinamon and allspice/cloves...

    here's another recipe for chai creamer that you can keep in the fridge to add to your tea (from Bex!)...

    1 14oz can unsweetened condensed milk
    1/2t. ground cardamon
    1/4t. " allspice
    " cinnamon
    " cloves
    1/8t. " black pepper

    i never add pepper cause i don't like the flavor but i do add ginger....
    have fun!

  3. hannah - totally would work with almond milk! actually when jack was a baby and semi-colicky i used to only drink chai with soy milk, something about the nutty flavor works really well with chai...
    stacy - hmm, i like shortcuts! thanks for sharing.


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