Do you love Chai Tea but not the coffee house price? You might want to read on!
I hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year. It wasn’t that big of a deal – about eight people, including my three year old. Very low key, and focused on delicious food and good conversation. My biggest responsibility was the turkey. I have never been in charge of the roasting the turkey for Thanksgiving before. My mom walked me through it step by step and my little ten pound bird came out juicy and delicious. Mellow and easy as this dinner was, I wanted to add in my own special something special since I wasn’t baking pies or contributing a side dish this year. We don’t tend to include alcohol in our festivities but when we host, we do offer beverages. Tea, coffee (my husband make the BEST coffee) and sometimes some soda. Every once in a great while we’ll open a bottle of wine. I wanted something new and different to add to the mix to serve people pre-meal. Enter the Oracle (Google).
After searching for a while I found a recipe for a chai tea made in the crockpot that promised to make your house smell amazing. Since the weather was blustery and chilly, and this is a warm spicy tea, I decided this would be perfect. If you’ve never had chai tea before, It is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. It comes from in India and has become very popular in recent years. You can find Chai tea in almost every coffeeshop in the states as well as a version from almost every tea manufacturer.
This recipe includes fresh ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and whole cloves. The smell throughout the house was amazing! After the spices simmer in the crockpot for 8 hours on high (I didn’t believe that, but yes, it takes that long) you toss in some tea bags for a few minutes and then stir in a can of sweetened condensed milk. That’s it! So was so easy – and everyone enjoyed this before – and during – the meal. There were multiple requests to repeat again on Christmas.
This recipe made enough for seven adults and one three year old. The little guy had about a half cup, and was begging for more.
Even if you have to go purchase every ingredient for this recipe, it’s not going to be over $12 – for seven adults! Chai tea in the coffee shop is going to run you at least $3.50 per small cup. I recommend checking with your local Indian grocery for the cardamon pods. They tend to be a bit pricey in the megamarts.
You can find the recipe I used, along with several reviews here:
- Use a cheesecloth or tight mesh bag to contain all the spices and tea bags in the crock pot – this saves you the trouble of straining the hot liquid. Just lift the bag out of the crock pot and stir in the sweetened condensed milk.
- Feel free to tweak the spice mixture with anise, fennel, caramel, or vanilla! This recipe is a great base to be built upon and very flexible.
- We used the whole can of sweetened condensed milk, but it could easily be served on the side if you have people who prefer a less-sweet version. I’m willing to bet it could even be made sugar-free with Swerve and some coconut milk.
- Yes, really cook for a full 8 hours on high. Once finished, keep it on low. Store leftovers in the fridge.
- Here’s a quick tip on how to peel ginger:
We loved this recipe and it will likely become a staple for the winter season and holiday gatherings for years to come. I hope it adds some joy to your season as well.
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