Indian Tea is a frothy, rich, milky, deep-colored, steaming hot, flavorful beverage. Brew this Desi masala chai at home using homemade chai masala.
This post has been compensated by a2 Milk. All opinions are mine alone.
The word 'Chai' evokes many emotions
Chai (tea) is not just a beverage for us Indians. There is a lot that happens over tea and our world seems to revolve around it from the crack of dawn till midnight. For Indians, tea is an excuse to chat with someone longer or to help break the ice. We can have tea on any occasion - happy or sad. When we have guests over, the first thing that is served besides water is tea or coffee. Intense discussions at work happen over tea breaks. Couples begin their first date with tea or coffee. Lots of bright ideas are conceived while drinking tea and late-night parties always end with a cup of chai no matter how sleepy you are! Tea is not just served in homes but it is also an integral part of the Indian street food scene. If you have ever visited India, you would, most likely, have noticed a chai stall in almost every other street, where huge vessels full of tea simmer away merrily! These stalls are often small, rustic with just some benches outside and they have probably been there for generations, serving tea along with Khari (a teatime snack) to people passing by. Clearly, tea is an important component of our Indian cuisine. Did you know, our current Prime Minister of India - Mr. Narendra Modi used to be a tea seller at a railway station?
What is A2 Milk
To be honest, I had never heard of A2 Milk until they reached out to me. Once I got to know more about it, I was pretty interested. See, KR and I had both noticed that we would feel uneasy and bloated when we consumed regular milk. It's weird because neither one of us had any kind of issue back in India. We just came to the conclusion that perhaps we had developed some sort of intolerance to dairy. We really didn't feel like going to the doctor for something like this, so we just decided to try non-dairy milk (like Almond milk, Pea Protein Milk, etc.) for our smoothies, cereal, and tea/coffee. Tea/coffee and cereal didn't quite taste the same, but we were still okay with this choice. Then I got to know about A2 milk. After doing some research, this is what I gathered: Milk is a good source of protein. The major protein components of milk are whey and casein. Beta-casein is the most prominent of the caseins and comes in two flavors A1 and A2. Regular milk contains both A1 and A2 caseins, but A2 milk contains just A2 caseins.
Is A2 Milk is good for you
Nutrient-wise, A2 milk is very similar to regular milk. The notion is that A2 milk is easier to digest than A1 milk. Though A1 and A2 milk have the same amount of lactose in them, studies have shown that A2 milk may be easier to digest and cause less discomfort and bloating. Quite a few studies have been done on the benefits of A2 milk over A1 milk - A1 has been linked to heart disease, type-1 diabetes, gastric and digestive discomfort among other things, but honestly, it looks like the evidence is still inconclusive and the jury is pretty much still out on this.
The a2 Milk Company™ offers a2 Milk® across the United States. a2 Milk® is real cows' milk from local US farms that is A1 protein-free. Ordinary cow's milk contains a mix of A1 and A2 protein types, but this milk comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein and no A1. This may be a helpful solution for people who are having tummy issues when they cook with ordinary cows’ milk or want to enjoy it straight up in a glass or in their cereal.
Honestly, KR and I have been drinking A2 milk for about 3 weeks now. All I can say is that we do feel a lot better than we used to when we were having regular milk. We definitely feel less bloated now than we used to before and seem to digest this kind of milk much better. We plan to continue using this milk for the foreseeable future. People from India who now are in the United States may want to try this milk if they have trouble digesting regular milk. Since cows in India only produce A2 type milk, it may be possible that our digestive system is used to this kind of milk. If you are experiencing any kind of adverse effects with regular milk, give A2 milk a shot. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
After using this milk in my smoothies and noticing the difference, I wanted to try the most basic recipe made with milk that we Indians love - Chai. Although it is an everyday beverage, the recipe and technique may differ in every household. Some like their tea burning hot, while some prefer it warm. Others like to over boil the milk while some take it off the flame at the first boil. Still, others add ginger, some add chai masala and some like us add both! It was my neighbor's son who first taught me how to make chai. He had told me back then that we need to let the milk along with all the other ingredients come to a boil first and then continue to boil it for a bit longer. I still follow this method whenever I make Chai. KR loves to drink Chai and I make it for him. I will share with you my recipe which I have mastered over the years. First, we need to prepare the chai masala. You can prepare this masala in advance and store it in an airtight container, then use it as needed. Add peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon to a mixer grinder. Grind all the spices together into a fine or coarse texture. Chai masala is now ready. In a pan, add a2 milk, sugar, water, tea leaves, and chai masala. Cook on medium flame and bring to a boil. Then add grated ginger.
Lower the flame and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until you see the color change to a darker shade and a thin layer of milk skin starts setting on top. Strain the tea and serve it right away with some biscuits, toast, or any tea-time snack.
Here are some snacks that pair well with tea - Edamame Hara Bhara Kebab, Cheese, Rice & Methi Kebab With Tater Tot Stuffing, South Indian Medu Wada | Lentil Fritters, Black Rice & Chickpea Fritters, Masala Dal Vada/Lentil Fritters, Zucchini Bhajiya/Fritters, Moong Dal Bhajiya/Lentil Fritters, Paneer Cheese Corn Balls, Beet Leaves Sabudana Wada, Dill ke Pakode/Dill Croquettes, Dal and Poha Vada, Copycat Olive Garden Cheesy Fried Ravioli, Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls and Bombay Special Vada Pav.
If looking for a dessert that is chai flavored, do check out this Chai Cheesecake Jars recipe.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram @cookilicious with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg. I love hearing your feedback!
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- You can prepare this masala in advance and store it in an airtight container, then use as needed.
- Add peppercorns, cloves, cardamon and cinnamon to a mixer grinder. Grind all the spices together into a fine or coarse texture.
- Chai masala is now ready.
- In a pan, add a2 milk, sugar, water, tea leaves and chai masala.
- Bring to a boil over medium flame.
- Add the grated ginger.
- Lower the flame and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until you see the color change to a darker shade and a thin layer of milk skin starts setting on top.
- Strain the tea and serve it right away with some biscuits, toast or any tea-time snack.