The Aroma of Indian Cuisine: Spiced Tea (Masala Chai)

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Traditionally, this tea is very sweet with equal parts water and milk. Every family has its own recipe and people adjust it for personal taste. Ready-made masala tea mixtures are available in Indian food stores. Serves 2.

• 2 teaspoons loose black tea or 2 tea bags
• 2 cups water
• Ground masala (grind together 3 green cardamom seed pods, 1/2-inch cinnamon stick and 3 cloves)
• Few slices ginger or 1 small bay leaf
• 2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
• 1 cup milk

1. Boil water in saucepan; add tea leaves or bags. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, shell cardamom seeds and grind with cinnamon and cloves. Add ground masala and ginger or bay leaf and sugar and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk and return to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes. 

3. Strain and serve.

Antara B. Mitra is a freelance writer and independent radio producer living in Manlius, New York. She loves traveling and sampling new foods.

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