Sri Kanta’s Chai

Whole cloves
Pepper corns
Fresh ginger crushed
Cinnamon sticks
“A lot, lot, lots of these.” Boil in just enough water to cover the ingredients.

Lightly smoke in a hot pan darjeeling or assam tea leaves. Then steep in water.
Combine tea and masala. Add fresh ground cardamom, stir and let sit five minutes.
Discard solids. Add milk and sugar.

My ears pricked when I heard Srikanta refuse a particular pizza topping because it wasn’t ayervedic. He explained he had been living with his dad the last year and his dad strictly adhered to ayurvedic food paring rules in his cooking. I asked if he knew how to make chai. Srikanta started reeling off instructions. As soon as he said, “Lightly smoke the tea leaves … ” I said, “Wait a minute. I am going to run out to my car, get a pad of paper, come back and take this down. Do you mind?”

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