I thought Zambians loved and drank a lot of white tea (black tea with milk) until I met my lovely Kenyan friends who literally can’t live without tea.
Growing up, we drank tea with bread and butter & jam for breakfast then we had afternoon tea at 4pm with either sweat potatoes or Ifitumbuwa (doughnuts) then mum would have another cup before bedtime.
I was introduced to chai masala by my Ugandan friend, Julie who made it for me with ginger whenever I visited her and boy was it yummy!
Chai means tea and masala is a spice mix of Cinnamon, ginger, Nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper and chai masala is simply spiced white tea.
My tea loving friends literally drink tea from dusk to dawn. It doesn’t matter what time it is. Whether its 10 am or 10pm, the first question you’ll be asked when you visit a Kenyan friend is Tunywe chai’? (We drink tea?). Of course my answer is yes please, until I am told, ‘okay come to the kitchen’, then I’ll say, I’ve changed my mind, I’ll have an herbal tea instead lol. Just Joking lol. I love it, I gladly make it and that’s how I learnt how to spice it up. In Zambia, we only make it with tea leaves, milk and sugar but I learnt you could add fresh ginger and masala through my Ugandan and Kenyan friends.
If you haven’t tasted chai masala yet, then you haven’t lived. Ever since I was introduced to it, its become my weekend special and I always have Kenyan tea leaves or teabags . When you come to my place on the weekend, you will find a pot of already made chai masala, I just warm a cup throughout the day :-). I am a Kenyanised Zambian lol
Here is my recipe:
1 tbsp. of Tea leaves/loose tea
2 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp of Masala spice
50 ml Water
50 ml Milk
Sugar or honey (according to taste)
1. Grate the ginger (without peeling but wash it) and add it to a saucepan of 50ml of water, masala spice & tea leaves
2. Boil for about 10 minutes
3. Add milk and let it simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
4. Strain and serve with sugar or honey to taste
It goes down nicely with Chapatti (unleavened flatbread) or ifitumbuwa (doughnuts)