The winner of the June 'Best Chai Recipe' contest is Shamla Mohamed's Orange Spiced Tea. This tea, which she also refers to as Ishq wala chai, has "the freshness of orange, the piquancy of spices, and the bitterness of tea, coming together in one divine blend".
Irrespective of the season, this chai has given me warmth whenever I had cold feet due from anxiety or depression. It has also carried me from loneliness to a fulfilling solitude. Above all else, it has taught me 'self-ishq' or self-love. Hence, my 'Ishqwala chai'.
2 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks of one inch length
3 cardamom pods
Juice from 1/2 an orange
Zest from 1/2 an orange
2 tsp black tea dust
1/2 cup warm milk
Sugar/honey to taste
In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and the pods of cardamom to a boil.
Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for 10 mins. Now, strain the liquid and bring to a boil again
To this, squeeze the juice of half an orange, grate in the zest and add the tea dust. When the liquid starts bubbling, cover and remove from heat.
Allow to sit for another 10 mins. Now strain the tea, add milk and serve hot on a cold rainy day.
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