Imagine a drink that invigorates you in winter sending tingles of warmth to your extremities.
Now imagine that same cuppa relieving you of a mid-morning summer heat headache.
Masala chai is the magic elixir that keeps India operating in the midst of chaos.
And now a sip of the perfect home-made masala chai is just 10 minutes (and a trip to the nearest spice market) away.
If you own a set of Haute Edit’s signature mortar and pestle or sugar spoons, the process becomes quainter, almost reminiscent of ages gone by.
If you don’t, a grinder will do.
The Recipe for the Perfect Brew (Kumari’s Choice):
Coarsely crush cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon in a mortar and pestle.
Tip this mixture into a small pan and cover it with two fingers of water.
Add slivers of ginger and pepper. If you are preparing this to be a summer drink, you can abstain from the extra spike of heat.
Bring the concoction to a boil, remove the pan from the hob and let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
Lace a few tablespoons of milk with 10 threads of saffron. The saffron imparts its exotic aroma to the chai and brings out an almost amber hue.
Add this milk and sugar to the steeping liquid and bring it to a boil again.
Next, introduce the tea leaves, turn off the heat and let the brew rest for 3 more minutes.
Pour into a cup, blow, sip and knock on the doors of heaven.
Kumari’s Tip: Masala chai has a robust, busy flavour. I recommend going with Assam tea rather than the delicate, long-leaved Darjeeling for this particular cuppa.