Some swift midweek cheer

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Looks like winter is here to stay!

This Wednesday we have something rather special in store. The unseasonably clear skies have put us in mind of sunnier climes, but it’s hard to forget the cold. So, for a midweek pick-me-up on a beautiful but bitterly cold day like this, our inspiration comes from India. Nothing could be so comforting as a hot, aromatic cup of Masala Chai, and this recipe adapted from Anjum Anand hits the spot. You’ll never want to see another Starbucks again!

If you have a coffee grinder it’ll make for a stronger infusion (don’t forget to strain) – as a bonus you can have instant chai on tap! Just double or quadruple the quantities below, grind the spices and store in an airtight container, to use as needed – half a teaspoon is about right.

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The ultimate masala tea:

“For me this is the ultimate cuppa. It is what women across India make whenever they have friends coming over for a break or a chat. It offers solace and comfort and is invigorating and relaxing all at the same time.”

    Ingredients

350ml/12fl oz water
100ml/3Β½fl oz milk
4 black peppercorns
10 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
good pinch green fennel seeds
small piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
4 cloves
2 tsp loose leaf tea
sugar, to taste
salt, to taste (optional)

    Preparation method

Heat the water and milk in a pan with the spices and ginger until it comes to the boil. Turn the heat down and cook over a low to medium heat for 15 minutes. Be careful as the milk can easily rise and boil over.
Once the volume is reduced to a large cupful, add the teabag and let it brew for one minute, or longer if you like strong tea.
To serve, strain into a cup and add sugar or salt if using, to taste.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food and Mumbai Masala Chai at Applemint.

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Keep warm,

Capital Cooking

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