Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ginger tea

My day begins with a cup of this goodness. Another dose mid-morning. And then of course, the evening cuppa. Sometimes i feel that all those posters that say - keep calm and drink tea are overrated. But there are those days when i know that the cup has really uplifted my mood.
I cannot remember the last time when i made my tea plain. For days when i am lazy, i have the pre-mixed tea masala. But i really prefer the kick that i get from fresh ingredients.
So every morning, before the pressure cooker goes up for the day's cooking, a pot of water goes on the stove. Many people get their tea ready in a jiffy. But i like to let mine boil on really low flame, so much that it takes a good ten minutes for it to get done- enough time to call out the husband three times to wake up.
Depending on what i am feeling like, i throw in different things into the tea - mint leaves, pepper corns or elaichi. The way it rains here, the tea needs all the fortification from the spices to keep that irritating throat and the cold at bay.The latest addiction is lemongrass. I get fresh lemongrass in the vegetable market here. I wash it and cut it into bits and store it in a box - a bunch lasting me a week. It has become an absolute necessity in my weekly grocery.
Making tea does not really need so much storytelling, or a post even, you may say. I say that it is my fuel. And i love tea.  And tea drinking with the newspaper and biscuits on the side is a ritual at home. Its the calm before all the running around for the day begins. Now i shall stop and give you the recipe for my one cup of tea. While this tastes great, i always get better tea when i make it for two :)

Cooking Time : 10 Minutes


1 tsp Tea leaves
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
Half a cup of water
Half a cup of milk
an inch of ginger
a few bits of lemongrass

After a lot of experimentation, i have come to the conclusion that Society tea leaves give me the strongest tea. A spoon suffices for a cup.
I am also really loving my latest acquisition of the small hand grater. I stopped chopping ginger and use ginger shavings from this instead. It really gets out the juice from the ginger.

It also works great for grating cinnamon and nutmeg into the bakes. Anyways, coming back to the tea.


Bring half a cup of water to boil. Once it does, add the grated ginger and lemongrass to it.

Let them boil together for a few more minutes, until the fragrance of the lemongrass and ginger starts wafting through the air. Add the sugar and tea leaves at this point. Let it boil until you get a rich reddish brown decoction.

Add the milk. If you like your tea black, replace milk with half a cup of water. I like my tea milky. So i add half a cup of milk and a little more to make up for all the water that evaporates.

Allow it to boil and come together. Once the tea starts boiling over, turn off the gas, and let it rest for a few seconds. Strain and press down the tea leaves in the strainer with a spoon, to ensure that you squeeze out all the juices.

Enjoy your tea in your favorite mug with some biscuits or a piece of cake or something savory on the side. Hearty, flavorful and warm, for that perfect start of the day!

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