Lemongrass, Mint and Ginger Chai

We think of chai as a syrupy tea with heavy brown spices but my grandmother makes hers with fresh lemongrass, mint and ginger — no spices. I still have the lemongrass from last week, and when our share included mint yesterday, I thought of my gran. She grows the two ingredients in her backyard in Nairobi, and makes this tea every morning and afternoon. It’s a hot drink, but so refreshing, a good fix for a rainy September day. –Tejal

Lemongrass, mint and ginger chai

  • 2 mugfuls water (use the mugs you’ll be drinking from to measure the right amount of water)
  • 2 teaspoons loose black tea (or 2 teabags)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon sugar
  • 4 slices peeled ginger
  • 1/2  bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2  bunch lemongrass, roughly chopped (scissors work well)
  • Milk, to taste

Simmer all the ingredients, except for the milk, for about 2 minutes. Pour in a glug of milk, more or less depending on how milky you like your tea. Don’t leave the kitchen! Wait for the milky tea to come back up to a full boil, then quickly turn off the heat (it you let it keep going, it’ll boil over the top and make a huge mess). Strain into two mugs and enjoy.

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