Also Known As
Masala tea powder.
Chai is basically black tea brewed with selected spices and milk. Chai masala, a dark brown powder, is a combination of the various spices, condiments and herbs mixed and powdered together and added to the tea while making. Each ingredient adds subtle flavor changes and brewing methods vary widely. This leads to a delicious flavor , great aroma and a refreshed drink specially in winters and monsoon.
You can make it at home as per your choice. Each family has their own recipe and preparation method. Its basic ingredients include whole green cardamom or elaichi, cinnamon sticks or taj , whole cloves or lavang and whole peppercorns, all powdered and sieved together. This powder should be added when you boil the tea leaves before mixing milk to increase the flavor on boiling. Also little ginger paste or coriander seeds or even tulsi leaves may be added at the time of brewing tea.
How To Select
If making at home, select the fresh spices from market. All the spices and condiments are available in almost all grocery shops or food shops. See to it that cinnamon, cloves , cardamom have not decreased on their aroma, may be due to extended storage. If buying ready made chai masala, check the date of packaging. It is available in various brands like Badshah, Everest,etc; which are most preferable in Indian markets.
· The most obvious use of chai masala is in tea making at home level as well as in commercial use.
· This masala can be boiled in water and then tea powder added and still boiled. Finally the concentrate can be cooled and then refrigerated for weeks. So whenever you want to refresh yourself, you just need to reheat chai concentrate in water and finally add sugar and milk.
· Chai masala can be added in plain milk with sugar, which will be called as masala milk.
· Mix the ready chai to your favorite ice cream to make chai milkshake.
· Low fat masala chai can be made by using skim milk instead of the whole milk.
· The tea prepared using chai masala can be savored with cookies , biscuits or even fried snacks.
How To Store
Home made chai masala must be stored in a dry , air tight container, preferably a glass bottle.store it in a cool dry place and it will last for 6 months. Close the lid once used to avoid hydration. If using from ready packs, reseal the pack once opened if its in daily use; or empty it into an air tight container. Always use a dry spoon to remove it ,otherwise moisture ma lead to hardening of the powder.
Due to presence of the spices in it, chai masala has numerous health benefits.
· Drinking tea, which consists of chai masala is useful in colds and reduces cough in those people who are prone to common cold.
· It's also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation , hence this beverage is generally consumed in the mornings.
· It rejuvenates the system and aids in digestion.
· Cardamom, present in chai masala; improves digestion and stimulates metabolism.
· Cinnamon is found to have antibacterial and anti fungal infections. It is also proven to reduce blood sugar levels considerably.
· Black Pepper improves digestion and promotes intestinal growth. It helps to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
· Ginger has been used extensively for its health benefits since ages. It relaxes muscles and improves circulation of blood. It reduces inflammation , flatulence and helps in thinning of blood.