My junior year in college I decided to study abroad. Actually, if I’m being honest I think my parents told me I had to study abroad my junior year. Well, twist my arm why dontchya.
But then I put the twist on them. I’m sure they thought as a philosophy/art history major I’d be all, “I’m going to Rome!” or “I’m going to Greece, kthanxloveyahbai!” And instead I showed up all crazy, “So I think I want to go to Africa.”
Once they gathered their eyeballs from the ground and were all, “Nope with a capital ‘N’.” I was all, “Mmmkay, India then.” I guess they didn’t have a good enough argument against that so off I trundled after many tears and panicked phone calls to India for four months.
I would love to tell you it was all sunshine and rainbows once I got there, but it wasn’t. I don’t think I was ready for an experience like India but I’m sure as heck glad I went. Plus, bragging rights.
One thing I did learn though, besides the fact that they have hands down the best sweets ever, Chai can cure your soul. It’s true.
Heartbreak? Drink a chai.
Homesick? Definitely drink a chai.
Got a big problem to mull over? Yep, there’s a chai for that.
For reals. Chai is an experience. And one I’ve been trying to replicate for years. After pinning and researching ALL THE CHAI RECIPES I think I have finally gotten it down. I have two little spice jars of chai masala now happily magnetized to my fridge for instant chai joy whenever my little heart desires. And obviously I’m sharing it with you, my peeps. My chitlins.
So chai it up.
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
- 2 tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
- 3 tsp black tea
- 1½ tsp chai masala
- ½ cup scottish oatmeal (not quick cooking)
- In a small bowl whisk together all the spices for the chai masala. Adjust spices as necessary for taste (I personally like it a little heavier on the cinnamon and cardamom side so I usually add more).
- Place in an airtight container out of sunlight.
- In a sauce pan over low heat add the water and milk and bring to a lower simmer.
- Add the chai masala and tea leaves and simmer for 5-7 minutes until fragrant and the mixture is a light chocolate color.
- Strain the tea leaves and spices through a fine mesh sieve over a measuring cup.
- Add more hot water to make it 1½ cups of liquid.
- Return to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add the oatmeal and drop the heat to lower. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and stir gently to smooth out the mixture.
- Serve warm with a generous spoonful of sugar.