Before the colonial rule our ancestors used to serve classic refreshments like Ayurvedic lemonade (panakam), buttermilk, spiced-milk, elixir, etc. to their guests. Later it became a tradition to serve beverages like tea or coffee to our guests. Nowadays tea breaks have become the order of a day in every institution across India. Every conversation, whether an important official discussion or a trivial gossip, begins with a sip of refreshing cardamom ginger tea or masala chai. Apparently tea shops turn out to be a place for making friends, discussing international, national and local news and also a place for finding solutions for social issues.
During heavy downpour people used to take shelter in a nearby tea shop as they all like to relish hot ginger tea to keep them warm. So every tea shop tries to woo the customers by serving a cup of hot flavorful spiced tea along with delightful accompaniments like samosa, masal vadai, bajji, etc. during monsoon.
It has been raining here almost every evening, and I also like to serve my family a glass of classic ginger tea along with plantain fritters (vazhakkai bajji) to enjoy the cool breezy weather that happens to last only for few days in a year.
Cardamom Ginger Tea Recipe
We, Indians, generally use leaf tea or dust tea to prepare black tea as well as white tea (tea with milk). I prefer to use leaf tea which is more aromatic than dust tea, but dust tea is stronger than leaf tea. Hence it is required to double the quantity of leaf tea while making tea.
Lately we have been cutting down the intake white sugar to a large extent, and I have started using other alternates like cane jaggery, palm jaggery, coconut sugar, etc. Here I have used palm sugar crystals (panangarkandu) and I find palm sugar as the best sweetener for tea and palm jaggery (karuppatti) for coffee. Now the recipe for cardamom ginger tea using palm sugar is as below:
Yields: 500 ml
|Hot milk*||300 ml|
|Leaf tea**||2 tbsp|
|Palm sugar crystals||2 tbsp|
**Instead you can add a tablespoon of dust tea
How to make spiced tea:
- Mince ginger using fine-toothed grater, crush the seeds of cardamom using mortar & pestle and keep them aside.
- Heat a sauce pan with water in high flame.
- Add leaf tea, minced ginger and palm sugar into the sauce pan and bring it to boil.
- Now reduce the flame to low and pour hot milk into the pan.
- Finally stir in cardamom powder just before removing the pan from heat.
- Immediately strain the tea through a tea-strainer.
- Serve hot cardamom ginger tea with crunchy savory snacks.
*Since adding cold milk into hot decoction of tea & ginger would lead to curdling of milk, it is required to add hot milk while preparing spiced tea.