Winter-time cuppa chai

Milk tea or chai, with cardamoms, fresh ginger, cinnamon and jaggery.

I’m trying to cut down on one of my guiltiest pleasures of life: sugar. If there’s that one thing I thrive on 365 days in a year, and simply cannot do without some degree of sweetness in it, it is my faithful cup of chai 😊 It certainly gets the day going for many of us tea addicts, and a cup of tea by itself is good for the body, mind and soul.

A healthier substitute, and perfect too during these cold winter days, is jaggery or gur, in Hindi. In India, it is made from unrefined sugar, and is obtained by boiling raw and concentrated sugar cane juice till it solidifies. During cold winter days, it is a popular snack, especially after meals, in North India. It aids in digestion and provides a certain degree of heat in one’s body. It is also added in many regional Indian sweets and desserts. In my case, I’ve started by adding it to milk tea, all boiled and cooked together with cardamoms, cinnamon and fresh ginger. For chai lovers, it is the perfect cup to start or end the day, maybe a cup in between. We are a tea-loving family, and there seems no better substitute to a hot and comforting cuppa chai 😊

Servings 2

Ingredients :

Black loose tea leaves – 2 full teaspoonfuls

2 green cardamoms

1/2 inch-piece cinnamon

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Jaggery or gur – 2 tsps. Add more or less as per taste.

Whole milk – 1/4 cup

Water – 2 cups

Heat water in a saucepan on high heat. Add the ginger, cinnamon and cardamoms. Bring the water to a boil.

Add the tea leaves, simmer on low for a couple of minutes.

Add the milk and bring to a boil again. At this point, keep a watch, so that the tea does not spill over when boiling. The moment it starts to boil, turn off the heat. Add the jaggery and stir well.

Using a tea strainer, strain the hot tea straight into the teacups. Enjoy!

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