Sunday, October 11, 2009

Masala Chai Recipe

Chai is a Hindi word for tea - which was originated from Cha - the Chinese word for tea. Masala is a Hindi word meaning spice. Masala Chai is a hot spiced tea blended with aromatic herbs. Masala Chai is a very popular drink not only in India, but also in western countries like the United States, UK and Australia. Unlike in the western countries, tea is never served cold in India.

Tea or Chai is the most popular drink in India and it is served anywhere - from street-side vendors to luxurious restaurants. Traditionally, Indians welcome their guests with a cup of Chai. Recipes for making masala chai varies from state to state and from family to family. Howver, the most common ingredients (spices) for bringing out the flavors in Masala Chai are

Cardamon : Only green cardamon is used in making Masala Chai. Cardamon has a wonderful flavor which goes perfectly well with tea. It could be used in ground form or in the form of slightly crushed pods.

Cinnamon : Cinnamon is another fragrant spice commonly used in Masala Chai. It could be used in ground form or in the form of crushed cinnamon sticks.

Nutmeg : Nutmeg has a subtle cinnamon like flavor which is often used in Masala Chai. It is always used in powder form.

Ginger : Only fresh Ginger in crushed form is used in making Masala Chai. Its pungent taste bring out a warming effect. It also has medicinal properities in curing colds and cough.

Cloves : Cloves are not very popular in making Masala chai, as they are very pungent. They are used only in whole form. Normally one or two cloves are enough for making 4 cups of Chai.

Black Pepper : Black pepper is freshly ground before using it for tea. Again it should be used sparingly.

Here’s a  simple recipe for making Masala Chai.
Serves : 4
Ingredients :
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, lighlty crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 whole cloves (optional)
3 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons Black tea
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or to taste)

Method :

Lightly crush Cardamon pods and Cinnamon in a mortar.

Put water in a pan. Add crushed Cardamon, Cinnamon, ground Ginger, black pepper and cloves to water. Bring the mixture to boil. Let it simmer for few minutes.

Remove the pan from fire and let the spices infuse their flavor for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the sugar and milk to the pan and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and add tea leaves. Cover the pan, remove from hear and let it steep for 4-5 minutes.

Masala Chai is ready. Just strain it into a teapot or directly into tea cups.

Hydrabadi Biriyani

Basmati Rice 500 gms.
Mutton cut into small pieces 1kg.
Garam Masala 2 tsp.
Red chilies 6 nos.
Cashewnuts A handful
Onions (sliced fine and
fried till crisp) 5 nos.
Cloves 2 nos.
Dalchini 2 pieces
Elaichi 3 nos.
Green chilies 6 nos.
Kothmir, chopped 1 small bunch
Pudina chopped 1 small bunch
Ginger Garlic paste 3 tsp.
Saffron (dissolved in ¾ cup milk) 2 pinches
Curd beaten 1 cup
Lime juice 2 nos.
Eggs boiled 4 nos.
Ghee /Oil 5 tbsp.
Salt to taste

Method of making :

1.Grind the red chilies and cashewnuts to a fine paste.
2.To the mutton apply the ginger - garlic paste and beaten curd. Set aside.Heat 4 tablespoons ghee and fry the red chili masala.
3.Add the marinated mutton, ¼ of the fried onion, one teaspoon garam masala and salt to taste.
4.Keep frying till ghee separates. Add 1½ cups warm water.Pressure cook till tender.
5.Heat dekchi, add 1 tbsp ghee and fry the sabut masala.
6.Add the rice and fry a little. Add the green chilies and salt to taste.
7.Add enough warm water. Cook till rice is done, remove and spread on a thali, discarding the whole masala.
8.Mix together the chopped kothmir, pudina, garam masala and fried onion.Set aside.
9.Take a heavy bottlomed dekchi and line it with ghee.
10.Spread a layer of rice and cover it with half of the mutton.
11.Sprinkle half of the pudina / kothmir mixture and juice of lime.
12.Cover with rice, followed by a mutton layer. Finish with a rice layer.
13.Sprinkle the rice with saffron milk and dot with ghee.
14.Cover tightly and place over a griddle for dum for 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with eggs cut into halves.