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Indian Tea..........Ahhh! Chai !

In India, teas are defined by the regions in which they are grown. Therefore we have Darjeeling Tea, Assam Tea, Nilgiri Tea & Orissa Tea

Mrinalini D'Costa, Germany, I think this whole site has been spread out very well. What I find best is that there are English to Indian conversioins for all the spices. This kind of stuff really helps people like me, coz  I didn't know how to cook Indian at all. This is a great guide for me now, I use it nearly as my tutor.

"Chai" is the hindi word for Tea. Indian tea is full bodied and strong. Known throughout the world and adored by millions. Today Indian teas come in a wide range of flavors and strengths.

 

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To be invited for a cup of tea, to an Indian house, means that not only will you get a cup of tea, but you will be served a  plethora of yummy snacks. Indians are well known for their hospitality. So if you get invited for a cup of tea to an Indian house don't refuse the invitation, go and have a wonderful time.

INDIAN TEAS

         

    

  

 

OTHER FAMOUS TEA BRANDS 

Among the brands that make good tea are

  • PG Tips 

  • Stash

  • Twinning's

  • Bigelow

  • Celestial Seasonings

  • Big Train 

  • Yogi

 

Click pictures for more info....

   

  

      

You can get ready made tea masala or make some at home. 

Tea (Chai) Masala

1 cup dried ginger roots
1/2 cup elachi pods (green cardamom)
1 tbsp peppercorns
6-7 2" cinnamon sticks

Dry all the ingredients in a low temp oven for 2 hours. Grind all the ingredients finely. Sieve it and grind again. 
Store in a glass jar

To get the best flavor add the Tea Masala while you boil water to make tea. For 2 cups of tea add tsp of Tea Masala.  

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"Chai making" 

Take the time to make a wonderful cup of Indian tea. Sipping the tea after a great Indian meal and enjoying every sip is time well spent. Here is a picture of a young boy making tea at a road side stall.

Now getting down to the business of making tea. Lets start with the basics. Things you need: 

Tea : you can use either tea bags or loose-leaf tea. But it is important to remember to use plain or non-flavored tea when making Indian tea. Brooke Bond Red label, Tajmahal Black tea, Lipton Green and Red Label Tea are just some of the famous loose-leaf teas from India.

Milk - whole, 2% or skim

Sugar or Sugar Substitute

India Tree White European-Style Sugar Cubes, 2.2 Pounds


Spices (optional) 

Tea cup and saucer or Mug / Cup : To enjoy your cup of tea in.

Tea strainer : Used to strain loose leaf tea. A '''tea strainer''' is a device that is placed over a cup and catches tea leaves as tea is poured through.. 

Progressive Stainless Steel Tea Ball

Its great for making fresh homemade loose leaf tea. Simply fill the ball with your tea or spices, and let it absorb in a fresh cup for tea or in a pot for a healthy broth!

Tea press / squeezer : Used to press tea bags. For maximum flavor, pick up your tea bag with these tongs and squeeze--excess water drips out the holes. 

These are the basics. Adding a few spices will make that plain cup of tea into "Masala" tea!

Below you will find some recommended products 

Hot Tea Maker 

   

Hot-beverage system brews drinks at the touch of a button in about a minute. Beverages pour directly from T-Disc into cup; no measuring, no fuss, and virtually no cleanup. 1 package each of Gevalia Signature Blend coffee and Twinings Earl Grey tea included.

Bodum Assam Tea Press, 32 oz. with Stainless Steel Filter and Chome Lid

Boil water then place your preferred tealeaves in the strainer, pour in the hot water, place the plunger in the strainer, wait 3-4 min. or to your preferred taste and press down the plunger, the brewing process has stopped. No need to remove the strainer,therefore, no mess and no burned fingers.

 

 Some of the common spices that are added to a cup of Indian tea are 

  • Ginger

  • Cardamom

  • Cinnamon

  • Cloves

  • Black peppercorn

  • Khus-khus 

  • Saunf (fennel seeds)

You do not have to add all the spices to make masala chai. Sometimes " Ginger tea" or "Cardamom tea" is a great alternative. Today you will find a ready made "Masala Tea" mixture in many specialty Indian grocery stores. It is found in a powdered form. You use only a pinch at a time.

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Masala Chai

Make this tea or simple buy a ready made Twinings Tea bag ! 

1 cups water

2/3rd cup whole milk

6 tsp. sugar (or to taste)

3 teaspoons any un-perfumed loose black tea or

4 single tea bags (Lipton)

1/4th teaspoon Masala Tea mixture

OR

A 2" piece of fresh ginger
A pinch of Cardamom powder

Put 1-1/2 cups water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the masala tea spice mixture. Let it boil for a minute. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer again. You may avoid adding the sugar and add a sweetener in the end while serving. Throw in the tea leaves or bags. The tea mixture will rise and many spill over the top, so be aware and remove from the heat (electric stove) or turn off the heat (gas stove). Let it sit for 2 minutes. Strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately. Sip and enjoy!

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Plain Chai

 

Make the same recipe without the masala tea spice mixture for a wonderful cup of plain Indian tea. This traditional recipe is used by many. There are many that like to use half-and-half instead of whole milk. They say that no other milk can be substituted, if you really want the taste of "real chai". But, if you are a tea lover and want tea twice a day,  then you can always use 2% or even skim milk.

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My Morning Cup Of  Tea

From Your Indian Gourmet... Medini

I make my morning cup of tea with 3/4th cup hot water, 2 bags of Lipton tea in a microwave able cup. 

Heat on high for 1 minute and 25 seconds.............in my microwave ........your microwave might be different!  Let it sit for about 10-20 seconds. Remove the bags pressing out the tea. Top it off with  milk ( use any you prefer, I use 2%) and add sugar or sugar substitute. Enjoy! 

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Onion Bhajee

 

One hot cup of Masala Chai in one hand and tons of hot hot onion bhajees in a plate and its an afternoon well spent reading a good book in the monsoon weather ! 

6 big onions
350 g gram (chick pea) flour
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
water
bunch fresh coriander chopped

Oil for deep frying

Slice the onions or use a mandolin. Mix the ingredients (except the onions and the oil!) to form a stiff batter. Transfer 1/2 the mixture to a mixing bowl and add 1/2 the onions. You could do it in one go but its easier to work in a couple of batches. Mix well so the onions are well coated. You may need to add more gram flour. 
Heat the oil till hot. Using a couple of spoons, take a heaped spoon full of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Repeat until you've done around 6-8. Deep fry, turning occasionally until nicely browned.

Transfer to a plate covered in a couple of layers of kitchen paper to help soak up some of the oil.Repeat until the mixture is used up.

Serve hot with green chutney and a cup of chai !~ 

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Tea Cookies

 

3 egg whites
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at low until they get foamy, then at high speed until they form stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl sideways without the egg whites moving. Your bowl and beaters must be grease-free for this to work properly! Gradually add sugar a little at a time while beating at high speed. When all the sugar has been beaten in, the egg whites will look shiny. Add the spices and beat in as briefly as possible. Drop the mixture into small mounds on baking sheets that have been covered with foil or parchment paper. 

Bake at 250 degree Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to sit. Don't open the door! Let them sit overnight (preferable) or at least until the oven cools. Remove them from the foil and store in an airtight container.

Or how about 

English Cream Tea Scone Mix & Clotted Cream 

    

Serve scones at breakfast, high tea, or anytime.  Makes 8 to 16 scones. English Clotted cream is a delicacy. It is perfectly made to put on biscuits and (especially) scones. There is nothing as delicious as a scone, straight out of the oven, and spread with clotted cream! 

Find out what the British have known for generations - buy this delicious clotted cream!!

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Other Uses of Tea  

 

  1. Natural Hair Conditioner : Boil water. When the water starts to boil, add tea leaves/bags. Remove from the stove. Strain immediately. This will make a weak infusion of tea. Cool this weak tea. Rinse hair with this mild tea infusion. Leave to dry. Rinse with water. Hair will turn shiny.

  2. Skin Vitalizer : Dab a cold, used tea-bag, on the skin. Leave to dry. With regular use your skin should have a healthy glow. 

  3. Getting rid of black rings under your eyes : Place a cold, used tea-bag, on each eye daily. Relax and watch the difference after a few weeks.

  4. Natural agent for aiding in curing Cancer Cardiovascular disease : Scientific discoveries suggest that tea has Flavnoids, an antioxidant that combats free radicals in the body responsible for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

  5. As a cure for Arthritis : According to the scientisists at Case Western University in Cleaveland  "Tea contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and help arthritis. Scientists took two groups of mice and gave them injections of a substance that causes immune reactions similar to those due to rheumatoid arthritis. One group had regular water to drink and the other got water laced with polyphenols, chemicals found in green tea and, to a lesser extent in black tea. Nearly all the mice that drank regular water got arthritis-like symptoms, compared to less than half of the treated mice." 

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