There is--possibly, maybe--snow in the forecast at the end of this week. I know that, if it comes at all, it will just be flurries. But as I came home from yoga tonight, I couldn't help but think, "Do we have enough milk to weather a snowstorm?"
Mostly because the Kid drinks gallons of it, but also so I can make this chai spiced milk that I wrote about on Sparkle Kitchen a few weeks ago.
“Chai” is the Hindi word for “tea”, so ordering a “chai tea” is technically redundant. Nonetheless, in America, the word “chai” is commonly associated with a blend of warm spices like cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. A “chai tea”, as we call it, is a blend of those spices in a milky tea.
While chai tea is nice, I’ve found that I enjoy chai spices steeped in plain warm milk almost more. If you’re sensitive to caffeine — or prefer not to have your children drink caffeinated drinks — it’s a great way to enjoy the warm Asian spices on their own. Not only that, but it will make your kitchen smell like pumpkin pie!
The following recipe is a starting place for making your own chai spiced milk, but feel free to modify it to suit your own tastes.
Chai Spiced Milk
- 2 cups milk
- 6 cardamon pods
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 peppercorns
- 2 slices ginger
- 1/2 of one nutmeg, grated
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 T Assam Tea (optional)
- 1 T honey (optional)
Measure 2 cups of milk into a saucepan. Gently crush the cardamon, cloves, coriander, cinnamon, and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife. Add those spices into the milk, along with the sliced ginger, grated nutmeg, and vanilla.
Bring the milk to a gentle boil, stirring frequently, then let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. (If you want to add tea, measure in about 2 tablespoons, and let simmer for 2 more minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat, and use a fine sieve to strain off the solids.
Give the spiced milk a taste. If you’d like it a little sweeter, feel free to add a dollop of honey. Then, whisk the milk to make it just a little frothy, and grate a few more sprinkles of nutmeg on top.