August 03, 2016

Masala chai ... blend your own chai

                                                   --- Masala Chai ---
The ancient ritual of blending herbs and spices has long-standing roots in all cultures around the world. Creating a tasty Masala Chai sensation in minutes may be easier than you thought by drawing on everyday culinary ingredients from the modern day kitchen. We have become familiar with Chai at cafe’s using a pre-made spice liquid but it is nothing compared to the beautiful flavours and Ayurvedic healing properties of a true homemade Masala Chai.

Masala refers to the spice mix and Chai is the Indian word for tea. Masala is commonly used as a base in other Indian cooking as well. One very important part of making your own masala is using fresh, whole spices which you blend or crush in a mortar and pestle just before making the Chai. Freshly ground spices release pungent, sweet and spicy aromas which delight the palate with smooth and synergistic notes.Also, the health benefits come from fresh spices not old stale pre ground spices.
  
Tailor your perfect cup of chai by exploring various ingredient combinations. You may wish to add black tea in the morning to stimulate the senses and omit in the evening for a more calming brew. Most people in India will have their own personal masala recipe and drink it everyday.
Masala spices taste great and offer many excellent health properties, are great for everyday health and also for keeping wintery bugs at bay :

All Spice - anti-inflammatory, circulation enhancer, digestive and immune support
Black tea - antioxidant, circulation enhancer, digestive aid, immune boosting
Cinnamon - anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, congestion and digestive aid
Star Anise - antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, digestive aid
Cardamom - anti-nausea, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac properties, digestive aid, respiratory and urinary support
Cloves - antimicrobial, digestive aid, immune boosting, mild anaesthetic for headaches, sore throats and tooth pain
Fennel - digestive aid for constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence and indigestion, menstrual and respiratory support
Ginger - anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, circulation enhancer, digestive aid, immune support, menstrual pain relief
Recipe for Masala Chai for 1 person
Ingredients:
1 cup of rice milk*
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 x Cardamon Pods
3 x Pepper corns
2 x whole All Spice
2 x Star Anise
3 x whole cloves
3 x thin slices of fresh ginger
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon of black tea

Method:
Pour rice milk into a small saucepan. Roughly grind fennel seeds, cardamon pods, pepper corns and all
spice in a mortar and pestle then transfer into saucepan with the rest of the whole spices.
On a medium heat bring milk and spice mixture to simmering point then take off the heat. Add 1 teaspoon of
black tea and let infuse all together for 2 minutes.
Strain with sieve into your favourite cup and enjoy!

* you can use any kind of milk if you like but we recommend rice milk for health and taste. If you prefer cow's milk, dilute with 50% water for optimal infusion of the spice.

A collaboration by photographer Liz Clarkson and medical herbalist and massage therapist Sarinah Hurford. Sarinah has a clinic in The Tonic Room in Kingsland, Auckland, NZ
     Available form AAAselect online store ! 
Milk pans from 4th Market, Mie, Japan - ceramic with walnut smooth handle.
Yachimun pottery, Okinawa, Japan - hand dyed cups from Miyagi pottery 

We are doing Pop-up store at Ponsoby Central untill 7th of August. Please pop in if you are near by ( Auckland, NZ ) !! 

Let's blend your own Chai ! Have a lovely week !