Alright another goodies in my holiday gift bag. Shared garam masala with my friends for Diwali one year and it was a hit and that gave me a confidence that a humble spice blend can also make for a good gift and motivation to do something similar this year for Christmas goodies bag.
Not sure if I’ve shared this with you before but I’m quite a snob when it comes to spice blends. Always homemade is my motto when it comes to masalas in my kitchen. And being a pampered daughter-in-law my spice rack has always been stocked by my mother-in-law’s home ground spice blends. From garam masala, to chaat masala, tandoori or chai masala, Mumma has it all covered. With every India visit or her visits to US, several packs of homemade masala powders have always been a staple in our suitcases. Although last time when she was here she announced – “you’ve gotta learn this from me now. I’m too old to be grinding spices for you anymore. So take over this department from me”. Although discouraged at that time I am now happy she decided that because now the art has been passed down to me and I feel more independent when running out of masalas in my kitchen.
Anyway, chai masala is one such spice blend that is an essential in my pantry. But some of my American friends complained that as much as they like having masala tea in my house, handling loose tea and measuring the right amount of masala is not their cup of tea (pun intented!). Hence the decision of making tea bags for them with the blend. So all they need to do now is throw these bags in hot water and they’re done.
For the masala: (yields approx. 1 1/2 cups)
Green cardamom (whole)- 2oz (approx. 50 g)
Dried Ginger (whole or powder)- 2 oz (approx. 50g)
Black peppercorn- 2.5 oz (approx 75 g)
Cloves- 0.2 oz (approx. 10g)
Cinnamon- 1 1/2 sticks (approx. 0.5oz)
Nutmeg- 1 tablespoon
Bay Leaves- 5-6
Items for the tea bags:
Loose black darjeeling tea.
Bakers twine or thick string
Brown paper for tags
For the Chai Masala:
Bring all the ingredients together in a spice grinder. Grind until turns into a powder. Store in an air tight container.
For the tea bags:
Start with a coffee filter. Flatten the filter. Fold it to form a semi circle.
Trim from one side cutting two edges in a straight line. Partially open the folded side. Add approx. 1 tsp of tea and 1/8th of a tsp pf chai masala.
Fold the sides, twice, sealing two out of four sides of the coffee filter.
Bring other two sides together and fold them together like shown in the photo. Use a stapler to seal.
Cut a small piece of the bakers twine. Staple it to the already stapled side of the coffee filter forming a pouch.
Cut a square piece of paper. Fold diagonally forming a triangle. Glue to the loose end of the twine.
Other fun Edible Gift ideas from friends:
Candied Ginger Panna Cotta with Mulled Wine and Cranberry Jelly By Simi Jois of Turmeric n Spice.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies By Anjana of At the corner of Happy and Harried.
Amazing Gifts in a Jar By Roy of Heuristic Kitchen
Cranberry Quince Conserve By Aimee of Simple Bites
Cranberry Orange Bread By Smruti of Herbivore Cucina
Eggless Lenzer Cookies By Radhika of Just Homemade