Sometimes when I realize I have an older, somewhat shriveled piece of ginger sitting on my counter, I decide to chop it up and boil it to make a big batch of ginger tea. All you do is chop the ginger into pieces and toss it (whole– no need to peel) into a pot of water (maybe about a cup of water per inch of ginger), and set it at a low boil for about 15 minutes. When you’re done, just strain out the golden liquid and discard the ginger pieces. If it’s too strong for your taste, you can add more water. If it’s too weak, you can add more ginger (even ginger powder) or simmer until the liquid has reduced.
Sometimes it’s nice to toss in some cloves and peppercorns and cinnamon to make some chai. So that’s what I did yesterday. I like to make a big batch of really strong chai and keep it in the fridge to sip on for a few days.
4 c. (about 1 liter) water
2-4 inches of fresh ginger, unpeeled* (exact amount not necessary)
7-10 whole cloves*
10 black peppercorns*
2 sticks of cinnamon*
10 green cardamom pods* (Optional. I’ve never actually made this with cardamom because it’s so expensive, but it is traditionally one of the dominant spices in masala chai)
1/4 t. loose black tea
milk of some kind, just not skim (I used almond milk)
sweetener of some kind (optional)
* You can use powdered spices if you want, though the fresher they are, the better. (Also, if you are going to buy any of these spices, please, please check a natural grocery store’s bulk section first. You can save a ton of money buying any of these in bulk rather than the tiny, overpriced containers in the grocery store. When you buy in bulk, the price per pound is dramatically less, and you can buy smaller quantities of spices that you aren’t going to use much of.)
Bring water to a low boil and add ginger, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon. Boil for about 15 minutes (longer for a stronger chai) and then add a pinch of black tea. Continue boiling for a minute or two more. Strain the liquid and discard the spices. While the mixture is still warm, you can add a sweetener if you want (maybe about 1/2 tsp. per cup). Add just a little at a time.
Serve hot with milk or refrigerate and serve cold with milk. (Milk helps the tea to be more easily digested.)