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Intro: Indian Masala Chai (Spiced Tea)
Imagine, you are on the train riding south from Delhi headed toward the city of Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal. The warm air blows through the open bar windowsas you look out over the Indian countryside. You hear a gruff voice: "Garam Chai, Garam Chai" and the strong smell of cardamom hits your nose. You hand over a fewrupees to the Chai Wallah, and he gives you a terra cotta cup of the best tea you've ever tasted. This is the recipe for that tea.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
First, you must gather the proper supplies. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the proper tea leaves. This may involve a trip to your local Indian market. The key is toask for "CTC leaf". CTC stands for "Cut, Torn, Crushed" and is a concentrated, processed tea leaf. You could try and make this from loose leaf Darjeeling or somethingfancy, but Masala Chai isn't really that kind of thing. It comes in a bag and looks like coffee grounds.The MOST important thing isn't what is on this list, but what is NOT on this list. Resist the urge to through all the spices in your spice cabinet into this tea (i.e., no nutmeg,cinnamon, lemongrass, cloves, allspice, etc.) Of course after you've had the authentic chai experience, go ahead... but I strongly suggest you make it simply at least onceto see how good it is.2 cups of milk1.2 cups of water2.3 tablespoons of sugar3.6-7 cardamom pods (I suggest buying these in bulk at your local health food store)4.4 teaspoons of CTC leaf indian tea5.something to strain the tea with6.