In my future vision for the Institute there will be free-flowing Chai. Maybe in the lobby or reception area to greet you after the San Francisco MistWindFog hurtles you unforgivingly through our doors. A small steaming tea cup (not America’s gargantuan proportions, mind you!) may be a warm-up-wake-up before class or a way to break bread with your fellow students after Savasana. There’s something indescribable about Chai; its warm brown color, its subtle spice, and of course, that little bit of magic English has no words for (read: Sanskrit anyone?). I make mine with looseleaf black from The Rainbow, whole milk, raw sugar, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and an ample helping of macerated ginger.
Risa’s Chai Recipe from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
-simmer water and black tea leaves
-meanwhile, with mortar and pestle, mash a pinch each (to taste) of whole cardamom pods, whole black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger root
-add spices to tea and let simmer 5-10 minutes
-add whole milk until color looks good, then add sugar to taste
-let simmer for at least 10 minutes until milk, sugar, spices and tea blend nicely
I do everything to taste so there’s no measurement. What’s in yours?
Editor’s note: Risa’s chai is amazing.