Chiya (chai) recipe
My introduction to chiya was sitting on the kerb beside a bus stop and sipping the hot sweet liquid from small glass, trying not to burn myself in the process. The chiya was being made and sold by a smiling boisterous woman with a new born infant on her lap, I later learned these vendor spots were jealously guarded and no-one would let a small thing like having a baby halt business.
This recipe was handed to me by one of Kathmandu's most famous 'Chai Wallahs' Mr Kumar who became a great friend, his story is wonderful and deserves a blog of its own. His recipe is so simple you'll have no trouble creating this classic at home.
Makes 4 cups
500 ml | 2 cups whole milk
500 ml | 2 cups water
5 teaspoons loose black tea pearls or 4 English breakfast tea bags
3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamon pods
teaspoon grated Nutmeg
Bruise the cinnamon and cardamon and place with all the ingredients in a steep sided pan and heat slowly, stirring the chiya frequently until it just comes to the boil. Take the chiya off the heat and allow it to settle before straining it into cups or a serving pot.
The slower you heat the chiya the better; the tea and spices will infuse so this is something it's best not to rush.
Use 1 teaspoon of Chai Mountain Masala, available directly from Yak Yeti Yak, for the perfect blend and to make life much easier.