Friday, May 2, 2008

a recipe for Chai tea

Rural Cavan seems like the last place you'd expect to find a Tibetan Buddhist retreat, doesn't it? Jampa Ling is located in a Georgian mansion outside the village of Bawnboy, not too far from the Northern border, and my two days there were a highlight of my spring '06 research trip for Moon Ireland. Some folks pay for room and board and others volunteer their time (and some work and make a donation), and there are regular prayer-times and some of the most delicious homecooked vegetarian food I've ever had. I met a lovely guy named David who made chai for us all, and was kind enough to provide me with the recipe. Once you've made chai from scratch you'll never want to go back to teabags.

Ideally you'd have a mortar and pestle to crush the ginger and cardamom seeds, as well as a strainer. Quantities of most ingredients are to taste.

Cleansing Chai Tea

3 sticks of cinnamon
3 whole cloves
ginger, crushed
cardamom seeds, broken open
fennel
honey
milk (optional)

Add spices to water in a saucepan and slow-boil for twenty minutes or more. If you're going to add milk afterwards, let the tea come to a boil two or three times before straining so that the flavor holds up against the milk. Pour mixture through strainer into teacups and add honey to sweeten.

1 comment:

Kate said...

What is fennel? Sounds yummy. You can make it for me when we're both home hehe. Love you!