Imagine frosty winter high in the mountains. Blowing wind on the passes over 4000 m. Yaks looking for the food, twirling snowflakes, sharp rocks. People living in the tents, small huts near the roads. Wearing woolen hats, socks, gloves. Trying to keep themselves warm in this bad weather.
Maybe it’s not the most optimistic introduction for the story about a tea 😉 But this tea, masala chai – very sweet Indian tea with milk and spices, is definitely the best way for warming you up in the freezing temperatures of high Himalayas.
Masala chai is also very popular in the lower altitudes and also starting to be more popular in the Western countries. However, for me it is very strongly connected to the moment, when we were driving through the mountains early in the morning, before sunrise, when the temperature was below 0 °C, going through the passes, where the wind always tries to blow you away, and there you dream about drinking this hot tea, that you can get from hospitable Tibetans and Indians or on the “tea stalls” around the way. Or, when you finish Himalayan trek in the late afternoon, tired after hiking the whole day – finally reaching the destination and the first thing you receive is a big pot of hot tea – it gives you so much happiness! 🙂
The best thing is, that you can very easily make your own tea at home. Of course, it would be the best to have original black Indian tea and the special mix of spices, but you can do it by using ordinary black tea (better quality = better taste) and mix the spices by yourself.
For making masala tea you need:
-black tea (the best are tea leaves)
-spices: cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, ginger
I am not giving you specific measures for everything, as you can adjust it to your liking. There are also thousand of different ways of making this tea in India. Moreover, you can find there tea similar to this one, but without spices, which is called milk tea. It’s just tea, milk and a lot of sugar, but all cooked together, which gives is specific taste. It is usually served on the way high in the mountains, as it is not always easy to get all the spices there.
The tea is supposed to be cooked in the pot and it is very important to cook all the ingredients together. At the beginning, you need to put some tea leaves and pour cold water, then heat it up for the tea to brew. After that, add the spices, milk and sugar. Boil it all together and cook for a while for the tea to get the aroma from the spices. At the end, filter it through the strainer to have clear tea, and enjoy the warming taste.
Masala chai is great for cold Autumn evenings and upcoming winter days.
If you read this post and you liked it (or not), please let me know in the comments 🙂
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