Friday, March 09, 2012

Tea time!

One habit I brought back from Russia was drinking tea.  I drink the stuff every day now.  There are great health benefits as reported here.

I like a lot of different kinds - from the domestic Bigelow blends to various kinds of green teas.  I generally drink tea several times a day.

A big favorite in the Hollywood home is Indian style masala chai.  It is not as full of antioxydants as green tea - but it includes the benefits of ginger (which is good for digestion) and cinnamon.  And it is just plain pleasurable to drink. I learned to make it more than 20 years ago from my friends from India.  These days, Mrs. H. and I enjoy a slightly simplified recipe, which is very quick and easy to make - which we include here at no extra charge...

This makes a large teapot worth (1.25 liters) - five large cups.

You need 2 to 3 rounded tablespoons of Assam black tea.  It really needs to be Assam tea - it is dark and pungent!  You may need to go to an international grocer or Indian store to find it.  But use Assam!  It is the foundation.  How much you use depends on the strength of the particular tea tea that you buy.  It may take a little experimentation to get the right strength.  We prefer a full-bodied cup that can hold its own with a good portion of milk as well as the melange of spices.


  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger (it comes from a jar and is wet).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Pour in the water (boiled and then cooled just a bit - we have an electric kettle that is lightening fast).

Stir.  Let steep at least five minutes.

After pouring into a cup (you might want to use a strainer when you pour), add milk and sweetener to taste.  We use Sweet Leaf stevia - a natural calorie-free sugar product (the bottles are a little expensive, but since you only use a few drops at a time, it lasts a long time!).  It should have a beautiful caramel color, creamy consistency, and a good spicy kick.

Tea is a healthier alternative to soft drinks, and generally, has less caffeine than coffee.


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