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 I need 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.