With the new backyard I am really enjoying stepping out into beautiful cold morning wrapped up in my blanket. Birds chirping and squirrel on my walnut tree, it is indeed beautiful, relaxing, and serene. For Mumbaites like us, we call this Hill station climate where we could just spend few days of our vacation on the beautiful hills away from concrete jungle of Mumbai.
Cold and chill mornings also remind me of our trip to Nathdwara, Rajasthan. It is a small village on top of the hills and our holy place of worship. Not just to worship, but the place is very popular for the Rajasthani food and great shopping from clothes, sarees, jewellery to artifacts and home decor. We just enjoy few days of stay there. Lord Shrinathji resides in Nathdwara, and while we go there to worship Him, we also enjoy delicious street food. From poha, khaman dhokla, and jalebi fafda breakfast early in the morning to delicious spicy samosas and kachoris in the evening and thandai, masala milk, sikanji after dinner, every meal is a feast for us. Morning tea is a spicy masala and ginger chai made on a small charcoal or gobar gas stove. I remember the small, dark, tea restaurant filled with a crowd of people enjoying hot, delicious chai in little claypot kulhads. The taste of the chai would get even better when served traditional way in the claypots. And because I love claypot and terracotta, I have plenty of these to cook and serve in. The rustic aroma of chai when poured in these pots is just heavenly and takes me back to Nathdwara.
Ingredients to make 2 cups Masala Chai
1 cup water
1+1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. tea (I use Red Lable tea)
2 tsp. sugar (or to taste)
For Spicy Masala:
1/2 inch fresh ginger
3-4 whole cardamom
3-4 whole pepper corns
- Grind all ingredients for masala in a mortar and pestle and keep it aside. You could add 2-3 cloves and tiny piece of cinnamon if you like the flavor in your tea.
- In a tea pot boil water, tea, sugar, and ground ginger masala and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add milk and bring it to boil.
- Strain in the cups or clay kulhad and enjoy!
**You could reduce the number of peppercorns if you do not enjoy the spice.
**Add 1-2 tulsi/holy basil or pudina/mint leaves or few chopped lemongrass to give added flavor and increase the medicinal value of tea. This tea is great to improve the immune system and fights against infection.
Rustic copper tea kettle and claypot Kulhads.
Ginger, peppercorns, cardamom.
Ground ginger masala
Enjoy this winter with Spicy Masala Chai!
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