Tea Party Tuesday: DIChai (I’m so sorry)

If you’re still with me after that unforgivable (but very funny) pun, I want to share with you my recipe for homemade chai in honor of this, a midsummer tea party. Chai is one of those things I didn’t realize you could make yourself until I thought about it and was like, “well, obviously it gets made at some point.” If you were wondering, that’s the provenance of about 90% of my DIY projects. Behold, Oprah-free chai:

 

Bonus: A picture of the Nashville Food Trucks book that I just finished editing!
Bonus: A picture of the Nashville Food Trucks book that I just finished editing!

 

I know it’s pretty hot to be thinking about drinking chai, but who doesn’t love an iced bev this time of year? I tried this out a couple different ways (details after the jump), and it was good hot, cold, room temp, and as an ice cube.

Here’s what you’ll need:

 

I left out the condensed milk because that is ugly, but fresh-ground spices are pretty.
I left out the condensed milk because that is ugly can, but fresh-ground spices are extremely fancy when all laid out nicely.

1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon of already-ground)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled (or a teaspoon of already-ground)

1/2 nut of nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon of already-ground)

5 pods of fresh cardamom (I didn’t have this, so I used a teaspoon of already-ground)

3/4 teaspoon of whole cloves (or 1/2 of the already-ground)

1 14-ounce can of sweetened, condensed milk

 

Start by grinding the nutmeg in your coffee grinder. Since this can yield anywhere from a teaspoon to two tablespoons (why, I don’t know), it’s better to be safe than sorry. Measure out a heaping teaspoon and store the rest for other stuff. Place the rest of the spices in the grinder and get it down to a very fine powder.

It smells so, so good. I leaned over it and huffed its fumes for maybe three minutes. #yolo
It smells so, so good. I leaned over it and huffed its fumes for maybe three minutes. #yolo

Dump all of that into a pint-sized vessel with a tight-fitting lid, then spoon out your canned milk. Mix well.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before use so that everything can marinate, etc. Use about a teaspoon per mugful of tea (assams and rooibos are both great, though I bet this could be cool in a peppermint green, too), Some people like it a little sweeter– throw an extra half teaspoon and change in if you’re more the type to dump sugar on top of your ice cream.

Mason jar EVERYTHING. I hate me, too.
Mason jar EVERYTHING. I hate me, too.

If you’re going to make it into iced chai, can I recommend freezing cubes of it so your drink doesn’t get watery as it heats up? I saw someone do this with iced coffee and iced tea at a restaurant, and now it’s my secret weapon during the misery that is Charleston in the non-oyster months.

Whatever you end up doing is fine with me– wear it as a hat for all I care. Regardless, keep the jar refrigerated, and enjoy it within a few weeks.

What do you think? Made chai before? What’s your recipe’s variation?

4 Replies to “Tea Party Tuesday: DIChai (I’m so sorry)”

  1. Am I using the whole can of condensed milk in one drinking? If so I am in trooouuuuuuble. Please tell me it’s more like a delicious marinating base that I just add tablespoons of to my regular boring tea.

    1. Hey, gal, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but it’d probably be a pretty short one if you drank a whole can of condensed milk each morning. Try a tablespoon, plus or minus a teaspoon, in a big mug of tea for fun timez. Enjoy!

  2. I totally missed the “use a teaspoon per mug” part. Or maybe I just didn’t want to see it, since this is so good and all. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *