As I have recently re-found my blog, it’s only proper to dedicate one post to it. So, latenitechai proudle presents: latenitechai!
Friday night, your friends are god knows where, and even if not, you kind of feel like spending the night at home alone, doing something non-profit, something kind of not result-oriented, kind of something which could be described as waste of time, kind of not, something which is kind of fun and relaxed. I (and 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas) again present-present you: Chai Experiment!
Step 1: Choose your weapon!
I wanted to make powder from the ingredients, so I can mix them together and then measure the powder with the teaspoon. You know, like when making normal tea. So, for that, I need to crush the ingredients to smaller pieces. I had at least these three options:
a) Old coffee grinder
b) Mortar and pestle
c) Food processor
So, one low tech, one low-low tech and one modern tech device. Which one will win?
And ingredients for the chai-powder, for three cups (using this recipe):
- 3 cardemom pods
- 1 piece of cinnamon
- 6 black peppers
- 6 cloves
- 1 anise pod
Step 2: Grindgrind.
a) Coffee grinder:
Time: 10 minutes
Other: Fun, but grinding cinnamon was irritating
I had high hopes actually for the coffee grinder. This is what it is made for, almost at least. So, with fingers, I first prepared the ingredients to little smaller pieces and I inserted them into the grinder. And grind I did! Every ingredient played nicely, except cinnamon. I crushed it with my fingers, then I pushed it down while grinding (now careful with this part!) and finally I was able to grind it all. But cinnamon didn’t grind much. OK, I tried to grind it again, but not much difference. But still, this was something I could work with and I could definetely measure this with my teaspoon when makin chai. So, some progress!
b) Old mortar and pestle technique
Time: about 5 minutes
Other: Fun, quite fast, and the smell is awesome
I had ok hopes for my beloved mortar. I know it is fun to smash things with it, but I didn’t expect much from cinnamon. I crushed the cinnamon as small as I could before starting, using my fingers. When I started, the smell of the spices was excellent, worth of doing the experiment. The other ingredients were crushed maybe in minute or two, but cinnamon and pods of cardemom didn’t got crushed, as I expected. Finally I just used my fingertips and did the best I could with those. Finally, the powder was even finer than with coffee grinder, and the work was more fun and quick also.
c) OBH Nordica fusion future sci-fi technique
Time: about 2 minutes
Other: Quick, painless, clean.. boring?
I was not sure how fine powder I would get with food processor, but I though I will give it a try. Not much to be said about this process, put the ingredients into the bowl, crush the cinnamons to little smaller pieces before that, put the lid on, press the button for a minute or two, it’s ready. Finest powder of these all, althought not as small as it could get. Okay, why to try to add some glamour to this, in the end I poured all the powders to the processor, vrummmmmmm, I got nice powder out of it.
OK, so the winner in efficiency was food processor. Easy, put the ingredients in, click the button, there you go. But I must say, mortar and pestle also was not a bad choice, although you might just want to crush the cinnamon with your fingers. Same goes with coffee grinder. Without cinnamon that actually is also very clean, fast and fun way to do it.
Step 3: Mix in some tea
Use good black tea powder and mix it with your chai-powder, fifty-fifty is a good radio. You might want to try 1:2 also, 1 part of chai and 2 parts of tea. That recipe above is for three cups, and as I had three different methods, I got powder for 9 cups. I measured, and I got 9 tsp of chai powder, so 1 tsp / 1 cup, easy! So I added 9 tsp of tea powder as well, put them all in glass jar and mixed well.
Step 4: Let’s test the powder
OK, as the ingredients are now in fine powder, it’s time to try it. Oh, one more thing, the purpose of this was that it is easy to make chai in future. One ingredient of my chai was ginger. If you don’t have fresh, you can buy ginger paste as well and keep it in your frigde. Or just make your chai without. This isn’t actually rocket science, so feel free add/remove any ingredients you wish for. Anyway, I tried with fresh ginger and with paste, both tasted fine. At first I made chai with adding two teaspoons of powder / one cup, but that was too much, or if you like spicy, it’s okay I guess. So I modified the original recipe a little bit. Oh, and one more thing, as this is fine powder and not whole ingredients, I reduced the cooking time to one third from the original. Another advantage of this powder. One thing, don’t forget the sugar even though you usually drink tea without, chai is just not chai without it’s sugar.
Edit: Okay, I did some more experiments and the chai tastes better if you cook it longer, lets say 10..15min.
- 2 dl of water
- 2 dl of soy milk
- 1 tsp of ready-made chai-powder (the recipe of 3 cardemom pods above when mixed with 3 tsp of tea powder will give you enough ready-made powder for 6 cups of chai)
- 2 tsp of sugar
- (1/2 tsp of ginger paste or 2cm of ginger)
- Add all the ingredients to sauce pan, let it boil on low heat for 10 minutes, filter and pour to mug.
- Enjoy on a sofa, under a blanket, reading comic books.