November 26, 2016 5:55 pm

Saturday Sips: Vij’s chai

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Vikram Vij of Vij’s Restaurant shares some chai recipes.

Vij’s Chai

5 1/2 cups water
12 to 15 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
5 orange pekoe teabags
6 teaspoons sugar (optional)
3/4 cup whole milk (optional)

Method

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Set a small bowl and tea strainer/sieve beside the stove before you begin. In a kettle or pot, combine the water, cardamom pods and fennel seeds and bring to a vigorous boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to boil for another two minutes. Add the teabags and sugar, stir well and allow to boil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more, or longer if you like a stronger- flavoured tea.

Using the sieve or a large spoon, remove the teabags and place in the bowl. Add the milk to the pot and continue to heat through for 45 seconds to one minute (you don’t want the milk to boil over). Turn off the heat. Place the tea strainer over the mouth of a teapot and pour the chai into it or hold the strainer over.

Punjabi Chai

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
12 to 15 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 orange pekoe teabags
5 cups whole milk
8 teaspoons sugar

Method

Have ready a tall and narrow pot for this chai.

Set a small bowl and tea strainer/sieve beside the stove before you begin. In the narrow pot, combine 1 cup of the water, the cardamom pods, fennel seeds and teabags; bring to a boil on high heat. Stir, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for five to seven minutes.

Using the sieve or a large spoon, remove the teabags and place in the bowl. Add the milk and sugar to the pot, increase the heat to medium and bring the chai just to the boiling point. Because the tea is so milky, we prefer to pour Punjabi chai directly into individual cups. Hold the strainer over the cups before pouring. Serve immediately.

Black cardamom and ginger chai

Ingredients

6 cups water
2 black cardamom pods (with moist black seeds), lightly crushed
1 tablespoon roughly chopped unpeeled ginger
5 orange pekoe teabags
6 teaspoons sugar (optional)
3/4 cup whole milk (optional)

Method

Set a small bowl and tea strainer/sieve beside the stove before you begin. In a kettle or pot, combine the water, cardamom pods and ginger; bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the teabags and sugar, stir well and allow to boil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more, or longer if you like a stronger-flavoured tea.

Using the sieve or a large spoon, remove the teabags and place them in the bowl. Increase the heat to medium, add the milk to the pot and heat through for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Place the tea strainer over the mouth of a teapot and pour the chai into it. Or hold the strainer over individual cups before pouring. Serve immediately.

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