Arvinda’s Chai MasalaBy amy • • Feb 10th, 2010 • Category: Impulse Buy, Seasonings, Spices
Shelf Life has traveled this spice route before, and loved it: last winter we reviewed Arvinda’s Curry Masala – a sort of sister product to this item, packaged in a similar tin – and were much impressed with its headiness and complexity. The Chai Masala powder was recommended to us as a Valentine’s Day alternative to chocolate; of course we were powerless to resist, because any product that challenges the god of cocoa is a product we have to investigate. The tin contains Arvinda’s own powdered chai formula, a mixture of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, plus (we’re guessing) one or two secret ingredients. Shelf Life contacted our friendly Arvinda insider for serving suggestions, who recommended 3 ways to feel the heat: (1) in a Macerated Chai Cherry Compote, which is a chai and cherry sauce for shortcake, ice cream, or chocolate cake; (2) in Heaven In A Cup Chai Tea, where the chai powder is the extra ingredient in an otherwise conventional cup of black tea with milk and sugar; and (3) in Chai Spice Ice Cream, which involves mixing dried coconut and Arvinda Chai Masala in vanilla ice cream. (see below for recipe details). While making these treats we discovered that – as the Arvinda people sweetly note – chai really does work best with sugar or honey, which offset its natural peppery qualities. For proof, look no further than the Chai Cherry Compote, which turned out to be an absolute knockout – so terrifically sensual and exotic that Shelf Life had to make brownies immediately, in order that some ecstatic drizzling could occur. The other two recipes struck the gong as well, although not quite so resoundingly: Heaven Chai Tea is a rich, striking infusion that works well as a late-afternoon picker-upper, and Chai Spice Ice Cream is an offbeat delight that harmonizes nicely with the Compote. One of the great things about Arvinda Chai Masala is its punch: you don’t need much to create an effect. This Valentine’s Day, Shelf Life fully intends to bring on the love and rockets with a pinch or two of this magic powder.
Vanilla Chai Coconut Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate and Macerated Chai Cherry Compote
I N G R E D I E N T S
Macerated Chai Cherry Compote:
M E T H O D O F P R E P A R A T I O N
Ice Cream: Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to allow it to slightly soften. In a bowl, using a spoon combine softened ice cream with coconut and Arvinda’s Chai Masala. Mix well.
Transfer Chai Spice Ice Cream into a container and refreeze.
Serve ice cream in a martini glass and garnish with dark chocolate shavings and a drizzle of Macerated Chai Cherry Compote.
Chai is the most popular beverage in India consumed at all times of the day. Authentic masala chai is made of black loose tea, boiled with water and heavy milk with Chai Masala—a spice blend (including ginger, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon). Chai is always served with sugar as the flavour of the spices is enhanced by its sweetness, although any sweetener (honey) can be substituted.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
M E T H O D O F P R E P A R A T I O N: