During Chinese New Year, I had the strangest craving for Masala Tea. Masala just means spices in Hindi. smsed my mom, surprisingly, although she used to live among Indians in the kampung, she’s never tried Masala tea. That’s when I realised, I must have picked it up during the days I stayed in India and my subsequent trips to Bangalore and Hyderabad. I still sometimes have a yearning for Hyerabad bryiani, but since I don’t know how to satisfy the craving, I’ve learnt to live with it. On learns not to give in to every craving needs.
Well, except for Masala tea, since I can learn how to make it, from youtube. Cinammon, you can buy from any supermarket or wet-market. I went to Tekka Market in Little India, only to realise that my neighbour wet market (Chinese) and mama store sells it too, at $1 for 10 sticks. Its not easy to buy pre-mixed ingredients for making Masala tea in Little India.
Incidentally, Little India is the place to be, on first day of CNY, its bustling, full of energy and good food. I saw a few Chinese Singaporeans hanging out there.
In any case, its not easy to shop for Masala tea in Little India. The guy at the spices store in Tekka Market, directs me to the stores across the street. But no one in the stores understood my english. 🙂 I can fully understand how the non-Chinese feel when they are served by PRC Chinese service staff. You get this blank look as if you’re speaking gibberish or from outer space.
So I asked my lovely neighbour Trupti for help! Trick in making Masala tea is in the tea leaves. Ordinary lipton or english tea leaves is not strong enough. Masala tea was served on railway lines across India. So you need strong tea to weather the journey I suppose. With condensed milk.
2 tsp Taj Mahal tea, pinch of Everest masala tea (substitute for ginger), 3 cardamon pods, 1 stick of cinnamon.
Boil water, and add ingredients. Simmer for 5 mins. Stir in condensed milk.
(I make my masala tea with the Philips coffee-maker. Too lazy to get rid of the little bits of tea leaves, so the Coffee paper strainer is fuss-free for cleaning.)