Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spicy Chai Latte

Have you read Sprouted Kitchen lately? If not, you should do so, immediately, if not sooner!!
Sprouted Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs and is the love child of Sara & Hugh. Sara is the foodie and Hugh is photog, and basically, they make the perfect pair. The food is simple and fresh, as is the photography. It's such a place of inspiration for me!

A cup of chai & yesterday's paper: perfection.
Anyways, on to this spicy chai latte. I could wax on and off about the joys of this concoction. It's heart-warming and has a bit of kick that you feel in the back of your throat, which is immediately calmed by the bit of sweetness and creaminess from the milk.
I've searched far and wide for a good chai recipe, and this is it. I will look no further. It's pretty simple too. Once you round up all the various spices, it just takes about 10 minutes to chai nirvana. If you're feeling a bit luxurious, top it with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream, if not, it's perfect as it is!
Tons of ginger make for a perfectly spicy chai latte!
A collection of luxurious spices (top left to bottom right): star anise, cardamom, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick.
Spicy Chai Latte
Yields: 4 servings
Original recipe here.

4 bags of black tea (darjeeling, english breakfast, etc.)
1 cup milk
2 in. piece of ginger, cut into pieces
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
star anise (optional)
brown sugar or honey, to taste

In a small plastic bag, combine the peppercorns, cardamom and cloves. Use a mallet or heavy skillet to crush the spices into coarse pieces. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk, crushed spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and star anise (if using). Allow the milk to come to a gentle boil, then cover and turn off the heat. Allow everything to steep for about 15 minutes. While the spicy milk steeps, bring water to a boil. Combine the 4 tea bags with 2 cups of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for 4 minutes then discard the tea bags. Add the tea to the spicy, warm milk. Use a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter to remove the spices. Add brown sugar or honey to taste, stir and enjoy warm!

I just got this new mug, and I'm quite enamored with it!


  1. I am obsessed with chai lattes! I could live on the ones from Starbucks. To save $4.23 a day, I should try out this recipe. I just need to get some cinnamon sticks and cardamom seeds...

  2. I'm a big fan of their blog, too! His photos are always stunning. Speaking of which, I love chai tea and all your shots, especially of the spices. Would you mind sharing how you processed these? I've seen photos in this style before and always wondered how it's achieved.

  3. @ Xiaolu: For the simpler photos (the spices, the split cup picture) I usually use Lightroom just to fix exposure, dark spots, vibrance.

    But for the more 'processed' photos, I use Photoshop. Some things I do to the photos are add grain, add blur, decrease vibrance, or add layer masks. It's sounds like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes more like second nature. But I suggest reading The Pioneer Woman's 'Photography' section, because she has great tutorials and actions that you can download and use! Hope that helps :)

  4. what lovely pictures! I too, love a special beverage. Your mug is adorable. Thank you so much for the kind words, take care.

  5. i love reading their blog once in a while cos the of the beautiful photography. you have a great blog here too! i keep popping by here via foodgawker... ;) i love indulging in a cup of chai, shall bookmark this for future purposes...(:

  6. terrific photos of such a warming, welcoming drink. haven't yet been to india, but did have an authentically made chai at an indian festival back home in wisconsin, and wow was it amazing. i'll have to print this out for an autumn treat!



  7. A vegan (and totally delish) version of this is to use coconut milk instead of cow's milk. The sweetness of the coconut really blends nicely. And if you happen to live in or near Portland OR, this is the best chai I have ever had: http://www.dragonflychai.com/products-chai.html

  8. I love chai tea. I can't wait to try this out. How many servings does this make?

  9. @ genderwarrior: coconut milk sounds absolutely WONDERFUL, i'll have to try that soon! and though I don't live near OR, I will someday have to try it, I loveee chai!

    @ tryityoumightlikeit: it makes about 4 servings :)

  10. Wonderful photos and PW's actions are amazing..I'm addicted to Seventies and Vinatge...This chai recipe looks wonderful too!

    I used to work at a restaurant that staffed a lot of Indian women and every evening they would cook up a HUGE pot of steaming chai and bring thermoses of it to all the cooks as we panicked through yet another dinner rush...whenever I see it or drink it, that's what I think of. Lovely!

  11. Being of Indian origin, I have to agree with you in that ginger is one of the key components of a good chai. Your recipe looks lovely :)

  12. I've just recently stumbled onto this blog, and I'm so happy! I love food bloggers who are also amazing photographers :) Also, whoo fellow Anteater here! Though you probably just graduated? Congrats!

    For this recipe, I'm wondering, if we decide to use the star anise, how many pieces should we use? And were you able to find cardamom seeds in a regular grocery store or do we have to go to a specific one?

  13. @ Vivian: YAY for fellow anteaters :) and yes, I did just graduate and thank you! Good luck with the rest of your UCI days! For the recipe, I used 2 - 3 pieces of star anise. I am pretty sure you can find cardamom seeds at the normal grocery market, but I happened to get mine at a specialty one.