Last night, I had a friend over for dinner that I haven’t seen in almost 20 years.  We had a hearty soup for dinner so I wanted something for dessert that was only mildly sweet  – and not too heavy. I came across this recipe for chai in the Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfast & Brunches.   I typically shy away from store-bought chai because it is most often overloaded with sugar. This was my first time making it, and it was delicious.  To be honest, I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I took my first sip….here’s my adaptation.

4 cups water
4 rooibos tea bags
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tblsp sliced fresh ginger
1 tblsp cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1/8 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
1/4 cup honey (4 tblsps)
3 cups non-dairy milk (I prefer almond milk here)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a larger size saucepan.
  2. Measure out spices and when water is at a rolling boil add them to the pot. Immediately reduce heat to low and let gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large stainless steel bowl. Using some potholders strain chai mixture into bowl. You may have to do this twice to catch the fennel seeds. Pour back into cooking pot.
  4. Add the honey first then the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Turn off the heat and serve.  Makes about 6 adult servings.

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