Slow Cooked Chai for the Winter Cold
Winters in New Jersey
The Garden State is cold in the offseason.
We are not lumberjacks nor are we Yeti. We New Jerseyans, first and foremost, are commuters. We brave the cold in overcoats and suits while the brisk winds fly from the Hudson River or the Atlantic Ocean. Many of us do not work outside. The ones that do are well prepared for the cold and occasional blizzard. However, for the majority of us, we suffer the cold while waiting for buses.
As I’ve mentioned in another recipe, our first choice in all of this is coffee. You can get a cup of coffee anywhere in the state and most New Jersey diners are open 24/7. The New Jersey commuter with Styrofoam cup in hand will trudge through the wind and the snow from November to March, reluctantly moving to his place of employment and dreaming of the one day we strike it rich from a lottery ticket.
As I said, most of the time we drink coffee.
After Friday is done and we make plans for the weekend, we look to get stuff done around the house. When we find ourselves outside we look to make something that takes us from our beaten path.
This is a bit of Asia for the shore.
Hot Chai in a Slow Cooker
I said somethings about caffeine and that drinking caffeinated things were bad for sleep. That’s not for this. This is loaded with it but it’s perfect for taking the cold from a winter’s afternoon.
Chai is made from black tea which packs a punch. The black tea is combined with other spices such as cinnamon, star anise, fennel, peppercorn, cloves, and allspice.
Typically, chai is mixed with cardamom – which is excellent for digestion problems and congestion. It is also used to treat constipation and dysentery. And, like cinnamon, it’s a warming spice.
There are a whole bunch of ways to make chai. Traditionalists and connoisseurs prefer their chai to be made with yak butter. If you find a place that makes a traditional chai, try some – it’s truly an experience.
- 4 cups water
- 8 tea bags black tea
- 1-2 teaspoons stevia leaf
- 6 sticks cinnamon
- 2 pods cardamom
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups teaspoon
- 8 ginger root, thin slices
- 8-10 cloves
- Put water in crockpot.
- Use a cheese cloth and wrap the spices in it (or you can do it loose and strain it later)
- Cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
- Add coconut milk and stir.