Every household is different, but the chai that the average Pakistani family drinks on a daily basis is very different from the chai latte you find at your local coffee shop. Here’s a recipe for everyday chai, the Pakistani way.
The typical Pakistani or Indian family drinks chai very different from the chai latte you get at your local coffee shop. This is an authentic cup of chai you will find brewing in the typical Pakistani kitchen.
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup reduced-fat milk (or you can use whole-fat for richer, creamier chai)
- 1 tsp loose tea-leaves or 1 black teabag (I use Tapal Danedar)
- 1-2 cloves of cardamom, slightly broken or a pinch of cardamom powder (OPTIONAL)
- Put water in a saucepan over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add tea-leaves or tea bag as well as the cardamom. Gently allow this to simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, depending on how strong you want your chai.
- Add the milk and raise the heat back to high.
- As it begins to boil, the chai will rise in the saucepan. Remove the pan from heat before it reaches the top of the saucepan. Do this a few times to really develop the flavor. Side story time! In a 2009 trip to Pakistan, we stopped for some chai at a tea stall on the way to Nathia Gali. The place was heavenly but that chai was unforgettable. Luckily I had observed the process - I remember the chai wala (tea vendor) used a ladle to repeatedly scoop up and pour back the chai. I've tried this technique and can attest that it does enhance the flavor. Try it!
- Pour this chai through a small sieve into your favorite cups and sweeten using sugar or honey.