Masala Chai

Most commercially produced Masala Teas are either disappointingly bland or laden with sweeteners and synthetic flavourings. Yet it is so easily prepared with whole spices from the pantry. Masala simply refers to any spice blend, and here the mixture is simmered gently and then steeped with Ceylon tea (Chai) to make this well-loved beverage which has origins in South Asia. The spices do lend some sweetness to the tea, so add sugar right at the end to get the sweetness just right. Working with spice is all about experimentation so play around with the quantities to make a chai blend that is all your own.

1.5 litres Water
4 slices Fresh Ginger
1 tsp Cardamom Pods
4-5 sticks Cinnamon
2 Whole Cloves
¬Ĺ tsp Peppercorns
2 Star Anise
4-6 Ceylon Tea Bags
Milk and Sugar to taste.

Method:
1. Place all the spices in a pot with the water. Bring to the boil and then simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes until well flavoured.
2. Add the teabags and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 6-8 minutes before adding the milk and sugar to taste. Strain and serve.

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