You might have noticed all the tas'tea treats we make at TCB kitchen are made using Chai. The Chai Bar blends and everything we make is an amalgamation of culture, hospitality, kindness, and tradition. It is an integral part of the rhythm of life, from the mountains of Kashmir to the beaches of Kanyakumari Chai is omnipresent!.
Not just in Indian culture, chai culture has established its roots all over the world. Every place chai is popular has its own special chai traditions. There are so many chai recipes all over the world for us to explore.
So, where did this "Chai" come from, and when? Like the history of many famous food items, the origins of Chai are steeped in legend and controversy. Back in the day, Chai was not the Chai we know today. It was known as a healing concoction made by brewing flowers, fruits, herbs, and spices. Over the centuries, this drink has evolved, and today there are numerous variants of Chai, each with its own distinct flavor.
It takes practice and patience to brew Chai. There is nothing quite as relaxing and energizing as a cup of Chai. A fresh and delicious cup of Chai is a work of alchemy. Learn to brew the perfect chai in our post- The Art of Making Chai.
While brewing Chai is a part of our morning ritual, cooking with Chai is a whole different therapy.If you have read our Tas'tea Pairing blog posts, you already know different chai pairs with different cuisines, flavors, textures, and meals.
If you haven't, Chai it, you'll love it. Yup, that's right! Just like wine, tea can enhance the taste of noms. Pairing food with Chai is gaining popularity. The complexity of flavors from the different kinds of tea leaves, herbs, and spices adds depth to any dish.
If done right, pairings can go beyond bringing out the flavor of tea and food to release a third flavor creating a heavenly melt in the mouth dream! The art of tea pairing is still evolving in the United States and Canada, but in the East, they have drunk tea with food, including entrées, since forever.
Tea may have its origins in Asia; however, the things we can make with tea are limitless. Today we are making a tea'licious dessert inspired by Madura's husbands' grandmother.
CHAI CUBAN CUSTARD
Few desserts are synonymous with Latin culture as flan; this soft caramel custard is served everywhere from Mexico to the Caribbean.The recipe for this flan has been passed down for generations.
Cuban's love flan! Madura's husband’s dad is Cuban. His grandma and uncle Carlos make the best flan we've ever had.
We gave this recipe a classic chai bar tea'wist.
Try this recipe with Mangalyam chilled chai.
1 can / 14 oz. condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk / 12 oz half & half or light cream
1/2 cup floral/fruity chai concentrate (either Astrakadir or Mangalyam are great fit for this)
1/2 -1 tsp vanilla (optional)
a few strands of saffron
1/2 c sugar for caramel
Equipment: 1 quart flanera or 1 quart round ovenproof dish/mold AND 1 ovenproof dish or baking pan that the flanera or round mold will fit into.
- Caramel: In a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook 1/2 c. of sugar, stirring frequently AFTER it begins to bubble, until golden brown, 6 to 8 mins. Be careful that it does not burn. Remove from heat and pour into 1 quart round mold, and swirl to coat the bottom.
- Custard: As you prepare the custard, the caramel will cool. In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with a whisk. Add the evaporated milk, saffron, cooled chai concentrate and sweetened condensed milk to the eggs and mix together. Add the vanilla extract, either 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon depending on what strength you prefer. Pour the custard mixture through a fine sieve into the flanera or round dish over the hardened caramel. Put on the lid.
- Put your flan into the ovenproof dish or baking pan and fill with hot water to about half-way up the sides, or as high as you can go and still move the thing without spilling hot water on yourself.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Then remove from the water bath, cool to room temp., cover and refrigerate.
- To unmold, run a knife along the edge of the mold and invert it into a serving platter. Spoon the caramel over the flan and serve at once.
- Bring 2 c—water to a boil.
- Add 4 tbsp. Mangalyam Chai and 2 tbsp. sugar. Boil for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Strain and refrigerate overnight.
- Add ice, 3/4 c. chilled Chai and top it with 1/4 c. milk.
Recipe Credit to Dr. Uncle Carlos and Aunt Ann.
VEGAN RECIPEThe next recipe is for our vegan friends; it is a modified version of the recipe from Dora at Doras Tabel.
Find vegan chai recipes in our post - No-Moo Brew
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- 1 can Full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cup Oat milk
- 1 tsp. Chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 1/4 tsp agar agar powder
- 1tbsp floral/fruity chai concentrate (either Astrakadir or Mangalyam are a great fit for this)
- Get ramekins ready to go.
- Pour sugar into a medium saucepot and set to medium-low heat. Let the sugar dissolve, gently swirling the pot but not stirring, until mixture turns a deep golden color, 8 to 9 minutes.
- Immediately remove pot from heat and pour caramel into ramekins. Gently lift and tilt ramekins to coat the inside with caramel. Set aside.
- Combine coconut milk and agar agar in a medium saucepot.
- In the blender, combine the oat milk, chai concentrate, sugar, chickpea flour, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Pour this mixture into the pot with the coconut milk.
- Bring mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then pour into ramekins.
- Place ramekins in the fridge for 4 hours to let the flan set.
- To serve, place the bottom of ramekin in a container with hot water for 1 -2 minutes in order to release the flan.
- Use a small knife or offset spatula to carefully loosen the edges of the flan. Turn flan over onto a plate, shake gently to release flan, and remove ramekin.
We hope you enjoy our culturally diverse recipes. If you have any chai recipes, share them with us at email@example.com. Visit our Instagram profile for recipe cards, reels, and more. For the love of Chai.Sip-sip hurrah,
Sargam & Madura.