Mooji makes great masala chai! What makes it so good? Well, for a start, freshly selected and grounded ingredients, blended together and left to settle for several hours or sometimes overnight to ‘ripen’ as Mooji puts it; the famous old enamel kettle, a great love of sharing tea with the satsang family and friends, all combine to make the perfectly delicious spicy chai many of us have come to love and enjoy over the years.
It must be said how challenging it was to write down a recipe which is never ‘fixed’. Mooji says best chai comes out of happy ‘no-mind’. His advice is to start with the recipe he gives here, then, experiment as your confidence grows, until you find your own ‘touch’. Making chai is fun; relax and enjoy this great eastern tradition. Never work in a tense or hurried mood; work with love, respect and a light heart, and your ‘chai’ ( you could read ‘life’ here), will always be great. Mooji often prepares chai for around thirty friends at a time; he welcomes you too!
(Serving five to seven)Ingredients:
- 3 or 4 assam tea bags, ( or 3 teaspoon of loose assam tea)
- 3 inches piece of ginger, peeled and crushed or grated,
- 1 or 1 and a half stick of cinnamon, loosely crushed,
- 1 flat tablespoon of black peppercorns (crushed),
- 1 inch of natural vanilla stick or 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, (optional)
- 6 or 7 sticks of cloves,
- 5 pods of green Cardamom (crushed),
- 2 whole star anise,
- 1 full teaspoon fennel seeds,
- 1 full teaspoon aniseed,
- a half teaspoon of ground nutmeg brings in a warm, caribbean flavour,
- 3 or 4 cups of soy milk or cow’s milk (Mooji uses soy),
- brown sugar or honey to taste,
- 3 cups of water.
Place all dry ingredients, except the assam tea, in a sealed container and shake well to blend. Leave for a few hours or overnight to ‘mature’.
Bring water to boil. Add the assam tea and boil for 5 minutes. Add masala chai blend from container and boil for 15 minutes then turn down flame and simmer for another 15 minutes. Now add milk of choice and bring again to the boil, watching carefully to ensure chai does not boil over by reducing heat quickly just before it does. Repeat 2 or 3 times. This process ‘thickens’ the chai and gives a rich and creamy taste. (This is not necessary if you’re using full cream milk or buffalo milk!). Sweeten with brown sugar or honey to taste. Strain tea and serve hot. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon powder on top (optional). Enjoy!
Ps: For those who like their chai extra spicy, Mooji suggests adding more black pepper. He also recommends using organic african ginger which is much hotter and dryer than the usual kind you find in most markets. Try looking in afro-caribbean food shops.
Jai Papaji, Om SatGuru Ki Jai
May all beings enjoy masala chai with aromatic, milky smiles!
Jai Guru Dev!