Monday, January 5, 2009

Tea Spice Powder and Spiced Tea

Tea is an integral part of my day and my daily routine. Tea is also one of those rare things,that I really miss when I am unable to have it.This does not happen often, only when I am traveling, especially to southern parts of India which is coffee land rather than tea.That is not to say you cannot get tea in these parts of the world, only that the tea made there does not really taste right to me. Okay I admit it, tea is one thing that I am really very picky about. All you tea drinkers out there know that how we make tea varies the taste of the tea drastically, use a tea bag to steep the tea and you get a mild tasting tea sans the bitter taste, boil the tea leaves and depending on how long you boil the tea leaves you land up with a little bitter or a lot bitter tea.Each person likes it in their own way and there is no right or wrong way of making tea.

My brother S who also shares my interest in tea, describes the process of making tea a "constantly evolving process". That's because the way we make tea has been changing over the years. But for me the process of making tea changes with the season too. In summer I make tea with herbs like mint and basil and in winter I make my tea with ginger, cardamom and a dash of freshly ground pepper for added flavor.

Recently I came across this recipe for a spice blend for chai tea and I was intrigued, especially when I saw dried orange as one of the ingredients for the spice blend. I was eager to try it soon and luckily had most of the ingredients on hand, so I made this spice blend the same day I saw the recipe for the first time.I modified the recipe and ground the ingredients to a fine powder so that I could use it to get the flavor to blend in quicker.

Once I made it though, I was very wary and skeptical about actually using the powder in my tea. I kept getting nervous that the orange in the spice powder would cause my milk to curdle and also since I have never used coriander seeds in my tea powder, was worried how this would taste and afraid my tea would get messed up. I am happy to say my fears were totally unfounded, the tea tasted fantastic, the orange added a hint of an exotic flavor to the tea and this spice blend turned out to be a keeper. So if all the late nights and staying up on long calls with family and friends has left you groggy, try making tea using this spice powder, it should both wake and perk you up when you need it the most :-)




Ingredients and Method to make Tea spice powder
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1 whole stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
2 thin slices of orange(skin included) (any variety of orange will work)

Preheat oven to 200 deg F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil.

Place slices of orange on the tray and bake until dried turning once every hour. (Took me 2 1/2 hours to dry the orange).

Toss all the spices together and process in spice grinder until ground to a fine powder.

Store in an airtight container and use as required.





Ingredients and method to make Spiced Tea
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk (I use 2 %)
2 tsp of brown sugar (or any other type of sugar)
2 tsp of loose tea powder
1/2 tsp of tea spice powder from above
grated ginger as per taste

Heat water on the stove top. When it heats up add grated ginger, sugar, spice powder.

When the water begins to boil add the loose tea powder let it boil for a scant 20 seconds to half a minute and remove from heat.

Simultaneously,in a separate container heat milk until it gets to boiling point or use a microwave safe mug or dish to heat milk in the microwave until it is close to boiling point.

Add this milk to the tea and mix well and strain into two mugs.

Serve hot.

Yields 2 cups of tea.

Notes:
If you are using milk which is creamier like it is in India you may want to reduce the quantity of milk.

Adjust sugar and other spices as per taste, my tea tends to be only mildly sweet not very sweet.

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38 comments :

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

I would like to join you for tea Usha. I love it as much as you do and yes, my day doesn't end without a cup of tea! spice powder sounds good. i also add cloves sometimes and filter it out in the end.

Akal's Saappadu said...

Hi Usha, Wish you a very happy new year 2009 and may joy, peace, love, wealth and good health be with you. Thank you for the comment; Your spiced tea reminds me of India's Masala tea. Adding orange peels to it, Hmmm.., that must smell excellent!! Tea time is sacred for us. Sometimes, we skip dinner but never the 4°clock tea.

anudivya said...

This would come in handy for sure. I looked for the Tea masala at the Indian store, and could not find any. Making my own would be perfect. I have always wondered what the mix had... and you gave me a nice recipe.

Priya said...

WOw i prepared already spice tea just by adding spices directly to tea..but as powder, an excellent work Usha...

Curry Leaf said...

Wow,I add powdered spices directly to tea.never did powder all the spices and orange and then store it.this looks much much better than store bought.HAPPY NEW YEAR -Perfect start to the new year.I am a tea drinker too.

Varsha Vipins said...

Quite new to me Usha..Sounds good..:)

Cham said...

Adding orange peel, star anise and coriander seeds re totally new. This one should be a great in flavor!

Sharmila said...

That is a good recipe Usha! Making spice for tea by yourself is a feat indeed! Adding orange rind is so new. :-)

Ann said...

My hubby craves for tea masala and we use stroe brought one..that too he brought after a long search..this is going to be a surprise for him..Thanks Usha..thats a precious one.

Sharmila said...

And wish you a very Happy New Year 2009 ! :-)

Red Chillies said...

Happy New Year to you Usha. I love tea, but I am so lazy to add spice to it (Even though i love it). Love your tea.

sowmya said...

i was looking for a recipe for tea masala..this one sounds good..loved the addition of orange..must have imparted a beautiful flvour along with other spices..

Preety said...

i don't drink tea but my husband would absolutely love this..will give him a surprise by making with homemade masala powder..yehhhh

Sunshinemom said...

Wish I was there! I usually buy mine in small lots whenever I feel the craving but generally it is just adrak chai for me:)

Navita said...

yum.
thanks for stopping by my blog.
Hope i have found a frequent guest in you!:)

hugs

Shama Nagarajan said...

i love spicy foods...urs tempting me..lovely spiced tea

Indranee said...

I'm all for teas and I love this spice tea!!

Yasmeen said...

I simply love spicy tea,especially at this time of the year:)

Keerthana said...

I absolutely love masala chai, specially in winter:) adding orange is new to me..since it is rich in vitamin c, must be good for winter cold!

Gita's Kitchen said...

Wish You a Very Happy New Year Dear! The spiced tea is a great comfort on a nippy evening :)

Uj said...

Wow.. making the masala at home.. Great. I am not huge fan of tea's but would love to make it for my hubby :)

Rajani said...

hi usha, ya its the masala chai season. 'just made my own batch of chai masala last week. yours must taste unique with the addition of orange peel and star anise.

sriharivatsan said...

Looks tasty..Adding little curry leaves also with the ginger gives good aroma..

DEESHA said...

Happy new year to you too usha. I love tea too & I can totally relate when you start missimg it. Luckily I love coffee as much but I prefer having tea early in the morning & coffee in the evenings. Nice recipe for the powder. Thanks

Vishali said...

Thank you Usha.

Wishing a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and your family.

The Spiced tea looks wonderful, I will definetly try this one.

Vaishali said...

Usha, Your post really strikes a cord with me because I too am an inveterate tea drinker, and cannot get started in the mornings until I've had my cup of garam chai. I too love adding spices to it.
Your masala tea sounds divine, especially in this cold, rainy weather we've been suffering in the northeast.

Suma Rajesh said...

hmmm masala tea looks great...feel like having a warm sip..

karuna said...

same to u too. spice tea powder looks really hot. nice and fresh. its been crazy for me, just getting back on track. wish a happy and fun year ahead

Jaishree said...

That is a good recipe Usha! Looks Great .Adding orange rind is so new. :-)

Aparna said...

This is my kind of post. I am the tea drinker (and my sister too) in a family of coffee lovers!

But neither coffee nor tea can keep me awake once I'm sleepy. I would drink it and then go to sleep!

Happy New Year.

Adlak's tiny world said...

hEY THIS is wat i was searching a long back... i tried some store bought masala tea powder but it didn't worked out for me...

yrs seems aromatic one and will try soon no tomrw itself. thanks for sharing dear.

AnuSriram said...

Give me that! I would love to have tea especially in this snowy noon.

Bharti said...

Oh wow, orange and dhaniya in chai masala sounds so exotic.

Lovliebutterfly said...

Just what we need for these colds days! Looks wonderful!

Dibs said...

Never knew orange can be used as well! Great post!

ARUNA said...

hey i'm a big fan of chai and i always used to make either adrak chai or elaichi chai...but just yesterday i saw tea masala in an Indian store and immediately bought it. Had i seen ur recipe before, i wud have tried this.......anyways now that i know, i will wait for this masala to get over:)

simplyfood said...

This tea spice sounds interesting, never come across orange peel before in tea.

deon said...

Bought some tea masala at an indian store but did not know how to mix in tea.this recipe helped me and the tea is very nice. Thanks

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