Masala Chai with Dates and Honey

~ Masala Chai (Spiced Tea) with Dates and Honey ~

The holiday season is approaching, which of course means that our lives will become more, ahem, spirited. It’s around this time of year that I usually post my gløgg recipe here at TasteFood. But before I let that genie out of the bottle, I will first offer this recipe for Masala Chai. Like gløgg, it’s warm and spiced, but instead of wine, it consists of milk and tea. As you brew it your kitchen will smell like cookies, cake and a holiday all at once. Unlike gløgg, chai has no alcohol, so you are free to imbibe as much as you wish at any time of day. So go ahead and make a pot for a late morning or afternoon pick-me-up. And don’t worry – the glogg recipe is coming.

Masala Chai with Dates and Honey

The dates impart sweetness in the tea as it steeps. If desired, add honey for added sweetness. Cows milk or a combination of almond and cows milk may be used in the tea. Serves 2 to 3.

1 1/2 cups water
4 cardamon pods, crushed
6 cloves
2 medjool dates
1 cinnamon stick
1 one-inch piece of ginger root, sliced
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon assam tea

Combine the water, cardamom, cloves, dates, cinnamon, ginger and peppercorns  in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Add milk and tea. Simmer 5 minutes. Add honey to taste if desired. Strain into warm mugs.