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Irani Chai is an exquisite tea beverage that hails from Persia and has found a special place in the heart of India, especially in the city of Hyderabad. Known for its rich, creamy consistency and milky sweetness, this tea variant offers an indulgent experience that goes beyond the usual tea preparations.
This recipe guide aims to recreate the authentic Irani Chai, weaving its luscious taste into the fabric of your daily tea rituals. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or a novice eager to explore diverse tea cultures, the journey to mastering Irani Chai starts here.
Equipment Needed: Teapot, saucepan, strainer.
What Is Irani Chai Made Of?
Irani chai is made using strong black tea and a milk base, known as ‘khoya’ or ‘mawa’. This milk base is a reduction of full-fat milk until it’s thick and creamy, often sweetened with condensed milk or sugar.
What Is The Difference Between Normal Tea And Irani Tea?
The main difference between normal tea and Irani tea lies in the preparation of the milk. In Irani chai, the milk is simmered and reduced to a thick, creamy consistency before being mixed with the tea. This gives the Irani chai its characteristic rich, creamy texture and sweet, milky taste.
Which Tea Powder Used In Irani Tea?
Irani tea traditionally uses Iranian tea leaves. However, any strong black tea can be used if Iranian tea leaves are not available.
Is Irani Chai Good For Health?
Like any tea, Irani chai has benefits and considerations. The black tea leaves are rich in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and support heart health. The milk provides a source of calcium and protein.
However, Irani chai is often sweetened and it’s high in fat due to the reduced milk, so it should be enjoyed in moderation. As always, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet.
For the tea:
- 2 tablespoons black tea leaves (preferably Iranian tea leaves or any strong black tea)
- 2 cups of water
For the 'khoya' or milk base:
- 1 liter of full-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons of condensed milk or sugar to taste
- Start by preparing the 'khoya' or milk base. Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring it to boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Keep stirring occasionally until the milk is reduced to half its original quantity.
- Add the condensed milk or sugar to the reduced milk and stir well until it dissolves completely.
- In a separate pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea leaves and let them simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the water is reduced to half and you have a strong, concentrated tea decoction.
- To serve, first pour the prepared 'khoya' or milk base into the cup till it is half full. Then top it up with the prepared tea decoction.
Tips and Tricks
- Choice of Tea: The best Irani Chai is brewed using Assam or Darjeeling black tea for a robust flavor profile. These types of tea lend the drink its distinct, strong character, complementing the richness of the milk.
- Brewing Time: Take care not to rush the brewing process. Allow ample time for the tea leaves to steep, releasing their flavors fully into the milk. The key to the perfect Irani Chai lies in its slow, loving preparation.
- Use of Condensed Milk: For an authentic touch, consider using sweetened condensed milk. This adds a layer of creamy sweetness that sets Irani Chai apart from its counterparts.
- Serving: Irani Chai is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve it in traditional clay cups, if available, to heighten the sensory experience and authenticity.
- Pairing: To get the true Hyderabadi café experience, pair your Irani Chai with Osmania biscuits or samosas.
Remember, the beauty of Irani Chai lies in its simplicity. With only a few ingredients and the right brewing technique, you can create an incredibly satisfying tea experience right at home. Enjoy the process and savor the results.