Thursday, July 31, 2008

Indian Spiced Iced Tea

This exotic icy beverage is a wonderful way to cool off during the dog days of summer. Many people are familiar with Indian or Thai "chai" drinks, which are creamy tea drinks often spiced with cinnamon and/or cardamom. This version of chai, however, is an iced "masala chai", or spicy (as in zesty, not fiery) tea, using lemon and no dairy. The fresher the spices you use, and the longer the steeping time, the more intense the flavors. The recipe easily multiplies - this version makes 2 to 4 servings, depending on the size of your glass.

2 1/2 cups cold water
2 tsp loose orange pekoe tea leaves
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick
Sugar, to taste (I like to use 1 Tbs)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (I like to use the juice of half a lemon)
Crushed ice

Open the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and crush them (I use a mortar & pestle, but you can also use a spice mill), and discard the pods. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Put the tea leaves, spices and sugar in a teapot (glass or ceramic works best), pour in the boiling water, cover and allow to steep for 4 to 5 minutes, or longer if desired. Stir well, strain, and add the remaining cold water. Allow to cool. Place crushed ice into 2 to 4 glasses. Stir the cooled tea and pour into the glasses, adding fresh lemon juice to taste.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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