Thursday, March 27, 2003

Moosewood, round 2
Like bubble tea, chai is one of those trendy drinks that I've heard much about but only recently got around to trying. Recently meaning last night, when I opened up the
Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
for another bit of experimentation on this latest thing. Some things I learned before I started ... 1) "Chai" just means "tea," so "chai tea," which is what I've been calling it, is redundant & silly. 2) Chai is just how people in India have been drinking tea for centuries, so to refer to it as "trendy" and the "latest thing" is also silly. Some things I learned afterI was done ... 1) Chai is pretty easy to make. 2) Chai has got some kick! Definitely not your snobby lady garden party tea.

The Moosewood way: I put 3 cups of water in a saucepan, tossed in a 1-inch piece of ginger (sliced up), 1/4 tsp of peppercorns (they said black but I used mixed), 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp cardamon seeds, and whole cloves (they said 6-8, but I think I used about 12). I confess, I didn't really measure too closely here. Oh, and I also threw in a cinnamon stick because it seemed like a good idea. I boiled it about 10 minutesm until it was down to about 2 cups (added benefit: yummy-smelling kitchen). After removing it from the heat, I put in 2 teaspoons of black tea (Earl Grey) to steep for about 5 minutes. The solid stuff was strained away, 3/4 cup of milk was added, the whole thing was warmed up again, and a little honey or sugar stirred in to finish it off.

Result: Definitely a change of pace from the mild green tea I usually have! It's spicy, full of flavor ... a kind of tea adventure.

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