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Lucy Knisley

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CHAI! [Sep. 10th, 2009|09:34 am]
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I'll tell you right now, this stuff is CAFFEINATED.

I don't drink coffee, or even tea that often, so I'm pretty sensitive. I had like a tiiiiny cup of this to taste it after I finished making the syrup, last night, and stayed up for two hours following my usual bedtime, making this recipe comic!

When I wanna treat myself, I'll buy that "Oregon Chai" stuff from the store, which I love, but I'm sick of spending money on it. If you're not a cooker, though, I highly recommend it. This recipe of mine is attempting to basically equal its deliciousness, and I think it does a pretty fair job of it. I know that this Americanized chai is way different from "real" chai, but still so goooood.

At least it's not the powdered stuff. Ugh.


Yum City, this one. I cobbled it together from various internet recipes, and felt my way through as I made it. Lately around our apartment, we've been drinking Pimms cups with cucumber slices before dinner, and now chai cups afterwards!
Very colonialized British India.
Then we go out into the square in our cricket whites and talk about this pesky drought.
Not really, but I would look great in cricket whites...
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[User Picture]From: stevie_roch
2009-09-10 02:49 pm (UTC)

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Oh sweet! I'm totally going to use this, thanks.
From: (Anonymous)
2009-09-11 06:43 am (UTC)

pricy cardamon

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if you go to middle eastern stores, or even indian stores cardamon is waaay waaaaay cheaper. stop buying ethnic ingredients at chain grocery stores- they over charge!! same goes with pomegranate juice... or figs... or dates.
Re: pricy cardamon - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: pricy cardamon - (Anonymous) Expand
oh those $pice$! - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: _w_o_o_d_
2009-09-10 02:51 pm (UTC)

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I love it when your comics take a turn to the psychedelic side...
From: jewelryshopping
2010-06-24 12:00 pm (UTC)

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I like it, just like you. But i like the balenciaga bags much better.
From: into_the_beams
2009-09-10 02:53 pm (UTC)

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Holy cow I'm doing this the second I get home from work. I also love the Oregon Chai stuff, but I'm usually too cheap to buy it D:
From: into_the_beams
2009-09-11 01:59 am (UTC)

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Ok, yeah, definitely making a bigger batch next time. Its so incredibly good.
Chai Time - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: finkenstein
2009-09-10 02:59 pm (UTC)

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I used to get the best Chai tea from the cafe at Borders when I worked there, for some reason I've never had better! It was so thick and creamy. I bought some chai tea bags the other say and remain unimpressed. Perhaps your recipe will help!
[User Picture]From: nekomata
2009-09-10 03:56 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, they had great Chai...then their cafes became Seattle's Best and the good Chai could never be had again. *tear*
[User Picture]From: currentlee
2009-09-10 03:01 pm (UTC)

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are you planning to publish a book of the various comic recipes you've been making?
(and if not, can i print them out to save for my own use?)
[User Picture]From: slashaddict
2009-09-10 03:12 pm (UTC)

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seconded! :O
[User Picture]From: mister_f
2009-09-10 03:04 pm (UTC)

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Twinings had a nice Indian Spice Chai in tea bags, which is nice.:D
[User Picture]From: slashaddict
2009-09-10 03:12 pm (UTC)

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Oh wow this is the coolest recipe ever! I am going to send it to all my friends with a link back here. :D
[User Picture]From: fairegoddess
2009-09-10 03:12 pm (UTC)

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Cardamom is a lovely, lovely spice, and makes a fabulous spiced sweetened bread. I reccommend it!
[User Picture]From: bugs_is_icky
2009-09-10 03:18 pm (UTC)

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I actually HAD a carton of the Tazo chai syrup that starbucks uses IN MY HAND yesterday while gorcery shopping, and then decided it was way too pricey and kinda scary because I had no idea what was really in it!

I can't WAIT to try this recipe now. My parents live in the city with the highest East Indian population in all of Canada, and we found out the other day that we can get cardamom still in the pods for pretty damn cheap at one of the local markets, I'm gonna steal some the next time I'm there and add it to this!
[User Picture]From: _laurennicole
2009-09-20 08:10 pm (UTC)

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try Oregon Chai. It's better than Tazo. We use it at our coffeeshop here.
Tazo - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: lookforthewoman
2009-09-10 03:28 pm (UTC)

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Do you have a PO Box where random fans who happen to live in the Little India area of Toronto can send you cheap lovely spices?
[User Picture]From: lucylou
2009-09-10 03:33 pm (UTC)

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If random fans were to email me, I'd be happy to send them my mailing address! (My email is Lucylou @ gmail)
[User Picture]From: mornglory
2009-09-10 03:43 pm (UTC)

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Oh mama!
Totally making this for my dear, who often turns to the aforementioned nasty-ass powdered "chai." Thanks!
[User Picture]From: kryptyd
2009-09-10 03:55 pm (UTC)

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Sounds delish!

I live with a certain guy who is afraid of cardamom :(
From: (Anonymous)
2009-09-10 04:07 pm (UTC)

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This sounds delightful.

Also, I'm a sucker for a Pimm's Cup. That shit is delicious. Tho I like mine with cucumber AND apple slices, because I am fancy.
From: (Anonymous)
2009-09-10 04:09 pm (UTC)

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P.S. This comic totally reminds me of Lynda Barry's fried-baloney-sandwich comic.
Pimms - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: aidosaur
2009-09-10 04:11 pm (UTC)

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AAAAA ANANTH WON'T STOP FAWNING AT ME TO MAKE THIS FOR HIM

SEE WHAT YOU'VE DOOONNEE

additionally: "The smell will be awesome... LIKE CHRISTMAS!" is my favorite thing today. :D
[User Picture]From: victorion
2009-09-10 04:13 pm (UTC)

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ooh, I am so excited for this!! I love chai tea and we have a tassimo at home...but you can't buy the chai lattes in Canada. I ordered 3 boxes of it online and it was expensive! This will be much better!
From: (Anonymous)
2009-10-26 07:59 am (UTC)

Wha???

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Uhh, I'm pretty sure you can buy chai lattes in Canada. In fact I'm positive you can buy chai lattes in any town that has a decent cafe. Where are you?
[User Picture]From: burntcopper
2009-09-10 04:17 pm (UTC)

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:cough: take out the chai and replace it with normal tea, and excessive amounts of Pimms and tea is what you'd call a fairly normal British summer. Mmm, Pimms...
From: thisse
2009-09-10 04:28 pm (UTC)

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I'm ridiculously excited to use this recipe. My love for you knows no bounds.
[User Picture]From: loolica
2009-09-10 04:36 pm (UTC)

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You can use decaffeinated black tea if you can't handle the jolt. Or rooibos! But you'd have to steep the rooibos for five hundred years to get the right flavour.
[User Picture]From: madfishmonger
2009-09-10 04:58 pm (UTC)

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Yerba Mate also makes a lovely low-caff substitute, but be sure to get the good stuff.
caffeine - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: conga_chili
2009-09-10 04:46 pm (UTC)

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Oh gosh.... saved and saved!! Thank you!!
[User Picture]From: madfishmonger
2009-09-10 04:58 pm (UTC)

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Fantastic! Mind if I share this on yayfood ?
[User Picture]From: lucylou
2009-09-10 05:01 pm (UTC)

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Sure! That's totally great!
[User Picture]From: akkhima
2009-09-10 05:00 pm (UTC)

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Thank you very much for this, I will very likely use it!
From: (Anonymous)
2009-09-10 05:23 pm (UTC)

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Is there any good substitute for ginger? I'm allergic, but not deathly, and I -loooove- chai.
[User Picture]From: westival
2009-09-10 05:31 pm (UTC)

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Brilliant! I love the fact that it utilize honey as opposed to a cane sugar or corn syrup. Bless you Lucy!

Also, Ginger and Cinnamon are two of my closest friends.
From: dagda_ollathir
2009-09-10 08:25 pm (UTC)

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agave nectar is also a good sweetener :)
[User Picture]From: joedecie
2009-09-10 05:56 pm (UTC)

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Probably due to our large pakistani and bangladeshi communities, cardamon pods are cheap cheap over here.
[User Picture]From: jabberworks
2009-09-10 06:18 pm (UTC)

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We could get a lot of them in Seattle because the Swedes like putting them in their pastries! Swedish cardamom bread with icing is, like, the best thing in the world.
[User Picture]From: bethmaher
2009-09-10 06:08 pm (UTC)

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If you can find a indian grocer somewhere in Chicago, I highly recommend it. I actually live in an Indian neighborhood here in and toronto, and I go to my indian grocer all the time for nummy treats like Paneer and Kulfi.

Not only can you find cardamom super cheap there, you can actually find HUGE packages of pre-mixed chai spice for a pretty decent price. And it's really good stuff! I use it in everything actually - shortbread cookies, pumpkin pies, crumbles, hot chocolate. I have to, I have so much of it kicking around!

One ingredient you left out in your recipe, that I love in chai is: Black pepper. Really! It adds a kicky little jolt of heat that's really nice.

Oh, and If you're worried about the caffine (my body can't handle it) you should try it with caffeine-free rooiboos. Mmmm really good.
[User Picture]From: jabberworks
2009-09-10 06:17 pm (UTC)

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Fabulous! Ha ha, I don't think we get those little plastic honey jars here = nostalgia factor.

I do pretty much the same thing, although I sometimes include a few black peppercorns, and toasted root ginger. (Which I actually toast on a wooden skewer in the toaster and it always is a total fire hazard, I really should put it under the grille.) If I'm just making chai to drink right then, I shove everything in a cafetiere to strain it.

Ooh, now I want to make some tonight.
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