A restaurant style milk tea, sweetened with caramel…
Chai is an emotion. I have never been an ardent chai drinker. I would have tea once in a while and enjoy it to the core. But of late, maybe because while I was trying to lose weight, I had been off chai for almost six months. Hmm yes, just green tea-black tea-black coffee… If you think it was a punishment, it was, but it helped me realize the value of good chai. Hehe… Nowadays, I have just one chai, but I make it my way, sit down on my favorite Ikea arm chair with a cushion on my lap, and slowly sip it in, relieving every moment of it. When the chai hits the end, I feel sad that is over. I guess that feeling only real chai lovers can related to. 😉 I have already shared my everyday chai, along with other variants like the Masala Chai and the Adeni Chai, and not mentioning the Chai Karak, which has actually been climbing up on the most viewed recipes on the blog!
I have been hearing that in hotels that serve fresh milk tea, they caramelize the sugar before doing the whole brewing process. I wasn’t sure till I saw Shabina share the recipe on her Instagram, mentioning that it was taught to her by a restaurant cook. I was surely intrigued about it, and had to try making it at home. And yes, it does give the taste of the special chai that a lot of tea outlets now make, but they make it in evaporated milk instead of regular milk. The whole process starts with caramelizing the sugar till it gives a beautiful amber color. Then the actual tea is made in that caramelized sugar. You may note that caramelized sugar wouldn’t be as sweet as sugar in itself, and hence we use more sugar than we would use on a usual basis. So I try to make this only if I am really in a mood for something special. This is apt if you have guests coming and you want to make your best tea. 😉 Just make sure that your caramel is on point…
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp heaped tea powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- A dash of vanilla extract
- Sprinkle the sugar into a saucepan, add a tbsp of water. Keep on low flame, swirling the pan occasionally, till the sugar melts and caramelizes.
- As soon as the sugar gets a good amber color, add the water and bring it to heat. Add the tea powder and allow it to boil till strong.
- Add the milk and allow it to brew till done. Switch off, add the vanilla.
- Strain the chai and serve hot with some biskoot!