My sister Himanshi, who runs Foodie trails with me had just one claim to fame for the longest time. The 'tomboy' of the family she could not cook anything but she made a mean cup of Gujarati style Masala Chai! It is her birthday today and I thought this would be appropriate as a foodie gift for her. It is also in continuation of the Sun dried theme of yesterday as this hot sumemr is whne spices are dried and powdered and put away for the year in India.
Especially since Foodie Trails and Beacon Holidays are hosting an event at Australia's Biggest Morning tea on 17th June in Melbourne to support the Cancer Foundation. They will be showcasing tea’s and coffees form places like India, Turkey Asia and Africa. I am so proud of Himanshi, for taking this initiative up. We all do business, but it takes a lot more than business sense to show heart and compassion.
Gujarati Masala Chai is made by literally cooking Chai Masalla in water with fresh herbs. And we usually make a batch of chai masala and store it in an airtight jar to last a couple of months. It makes brewing that cup of tea whenever required, that much faster, convenient on rainy days, when the craving strikes more often.
This mix is good for relieving the aches and pains of colds, coughs, flu and fevers. I must confess, I hardly ever make chai the Gujarati way any more. I switched loyalties to coffee a long time ago. Rainy days and lazy Sundays, sometimes have me craving for the intensely flavoured brew I grew up drinking however. It is for those days that I still make and store chai masalla just like my grandmother did albeit in smaller quantities. Who am I kidding? I do it because I love the ritual of doling out the spices, grinding them and mixing them together and above all the aroma that fills my home when I make it.
It is also handy to add to puddings, cakes and other baked goodies. I also added it to Chikoo milkshake which I find offsets the caramel sweetness of the fruit.
200 g Saunth (Dried Ginger)
200 g cardamom
100 g Black pepper
50 g Clove
50 g Cinnamon
2 pcs Nutmeg
8 Bay leaves
Dry all the ingredients in the sun or in a low temp oven for 2 hours to ensure no moisture is left. Grind each spice indivisually in a dry grinder or coffee grinder. Strain out larger pieces with a fine sieve and grind again. Combine all the powdered spices and mix well. Transfer to an airtight jar to store.