Enjoy a spicy chai beverage in the heat of summer over ice. Boil your favorite tea with the iconic spices and chill. Serve with mint and slices of lemon.
By Prerna Singh
Oh summer! How much I longed for you. How I wished and prayed for you to come visit. How I hoped for the sun to shine upon me and how I craved to put away my coats and gloves and pull out my bags of shorts, carefully hidden in the back of my closet. I had all these plans to bathe in your sunshine and had dreamt of not leaving my backyard for days. And then you came with all your glory. Oh, you came with all you glory! And now I wanna run away from you and hide in the bottom of a pool or glue myself to the air conditioning that my house doesn’t have (lucky me!).
All this was still alright as you were much awaited until you snatched the cup of my hot masala tea I relished every evening with a slice of banana cardamom cake. That made things a little cruel, I have to say. Not many have the capacity of taking that cup of evening chai away from me but to savor a cup of anything steaming hot on this hot, hot summer is close to torture. But to completely stay away from the warmth of masala mixed in a creamy cup of chai is impossible too. So I had to improvise. I used the same spices, boiled it with my favorite tea but instead poured it in a bottle and chilled it in my refrigerator and fooled the summer!
- 5 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 inches fresh ginger root (sliced or coarsely chopped)
- 10 green cardamom (smashed)
- 8-10 cloves (whole)
- 4-5 tablespoon brown sugar (can substitute with a choice of sweetener like honey, agave, coconut palm sugar)
- 6-7 Tetley Black & Green tea bags
- In a medium sized saucepan bring water to a rolling boil.
- Add the spices, sugar and tea bags. Turn the heat off. Let it steep for 15 minutes. Longer if you prefer a stronger taste of spices.
- Strain hot tea through a strainer. Let it cool a little and then transfer to a flask or pitcher.
- Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice. Pour the tea. Add milk or lemon juice and mint or enjoy as it is on a hot summer day!
A few crushed mint leaves.
A squirt or a couple slices of lemon.
Prerna is a food writer and photographer who contributes to sites like Menuism and WFAEeats (NPR Charlotte). With a goal of making Indian cuisine approachable, she created Indian Simmer, a blog nominated for 2011 Best Food Blogs by Saveur Magazine.