I love chai thanks to my best friend. She introduced me to it when I was visiting some years ago. Every now and then, rather than sitting together with a cup of coffee, we like to sit with a cup of tea. Usually chai. It’s the only time I’ll add milk or cream to my tea. A couple of weeks ago I made some chai and as I was about to pour my unsweetened coconut milk into the tea, I realized the smell wasn’t chai, but genmaicha (roasted brown rice tea). That’s what I get for not looking at the packet I pulled out of the container. All I knew was the chai was in a yellow packet and now I know that the genmaicha is in a lighter yellow packet. Well I knew that, but I wasn’t really thinking, I was on auto-pilot.
Chai will often override other choices. For instance, I wound up at my favorite little coffee shop, La Vida Java, Friday morning before my Naturopath appointment. I didn’t have much sleep that morning and was only there before the appointment because my body decided it was going to wake me up early and not let me go back to sleep. I brought my reading and writing materials with me and intended to order a decaf. I was talking to one of the baristas before ordering and happened to notice Vanilla Chai Latte was the daily special. Well heck, bring it on! Yummy chai while I read and write? You bet!
I saw the recipe for Tropical Tradition’s Coconut Chai Smoothie on my Facebook feed the other day and decided I had to try it. I wasn’t too sure about the banana in it. I thought it would dominate the drink. I was wrong. My garam masala that I use is pretty pungent and actually dominated the drink. I never thought about using it for chai before I saw the recipe. The mix they give you for the recipe is mild in comparison to what I use which is a mix of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, black peppercorn, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, grated nutmeg, and saffron. Everything but the nutmeg and saffron were dry toasted on the stove and then everything got a run through in my spice mill. If you don’t want to make it yourself, I have seen it sold in some stores.
I really like this chai smoothie and I intend to make some changes. I’ll end up using unsweetened coconut milk instead of the water from now on and will likely not use the coconut cream. I was thinking tonight about how to make this into ice cream. Not that I eat ice cream a lot. I’ve just been wanting it all day because it’s THAT time of the month. Since the recipe uses honey to sweeten the chai, I figure I can come up with a workable recipe for ice cream using raw honey.
A challenge. I might have to make a chai smoothie to drink and be my inspiration as I experiment with chai ice cream.