this is romeo and he’s the camel i rode in on.
not to nyc sillies! no, i went to the pushkar camel fair back in november, not because i was in the market for a camel mind you. i just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought i’d stop by and see the goings-ons of a camel fair.
there were, of course, lots of camel-y things going on. camels everywhere!
india’s camels are dromedary camels, meaning they have one hump, not two. they are docile, hardworking creatures, and call me crazy, but i think they’re cute.
this guy is particularly charming, no?
er, skilled as i am, i’m not exactly sure how to make this jump so… let’s just move on to the recipe shall we? i’m roarin’ about a little bit of india brought back home. making chai has become an easy ritual for me, it’s the perfect warmer on a cold winter day, one sip and i’m right back on the sub-continent.
real chai is oceans away from that overly sweet boxed or chain-store bought ‘chai’. there are many variations, in fact the words masala chai mean simply, spiced tea. this combo is my favorite.
1 cup milk
5 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
6 green cardamon pods
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 star anise
2 heaping tablespoons loose black tea
2-3 tablespoons (or to taste) jaggery* (or sugar)
1. place water, milk and all of the spices except for the star anise in a saucepan. bring to the boil, turn off the heat. cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
2. add the sweetener and star anise, and give it a quick stir. add the loose tea – i like to put it in a large tea strainer and simply lift it out when done. but you can add the tea directly to the pot if you don’t have one. cover and let steep for 5 minutes more.
3. strain or lift out the tea and pour. enjoy.
if this does entice you to make a pot of your own on this chilly winter sunday (or any other day you’re so inclined) you might want to take a peek at more photos from my india trip.
*the closest local taste i’ve found to jaggery is maple sugar. if you have that, or maple syrup even, give it a try – it’s good!