Indian Chai Lattes

Indian Chai Lattes

Indian Chai Lattes

There’s an Indian restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona called Jewel of the Crown. I grew up a few miles away from it, but it was slightly too fancy to go there on a regular basis. Mostly, we would go when family was visiting from out of town – it was a special occasion. And for the kid version of me, it was a very special occasion. I took to it immediately, even when I was young: the chicken was perfectly cooked, the naan bread was devoured in minutes.

But my favorite thing came piping hot from a tap: chai lattes. Milky, subtle but present spices, and delicious black tea. It took everything in me not to finish it in one sip. I coveted these chai lattes and thought about them months after eating at the restaurant. I’d try chai lattes elsewhere, but they weren’t the same – they tasted pretty much like watery syrup with some milk mixed in.

I haven’t been to the restaurant in at least 10 years and here I am, still thinking about those perfect chais.

But here I am with a chai latte recipe that tastes just like those perfect ones. I am so glad I finally tried it. If you’ve only ever had chai lattes from The Great Big Coffee Chain That Shall Not Be Named, you really, really should try making these. And it’s not even too hard to make in the comfort of your own saucepan: if you can get your hands on green cardamom pods (I found them easily at Penzey’s) and some star anise (in most grocery stores), everything else comes together in minutes.

Indian Chai Lattes

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simple mango lassi

mango lassi [ inthiskitchen.com ]

Mango lassi is one of those recipes that takes a few super simple ingredients, and when mixed together, becomes incredibly great. It’s basically just a yogurt-mango smoothie, but the addition of cardamom is really what gives it depth and that awesome flavor. I had to go out and buy cardamom to make these (I’ve been on a sort of spice cabinet-stocking mission this summer) and it was 100% worth it. Just a pinch makes the whole thing perfect.

You can certainly purchase mango already pureed, but if you can’t find that, you can do what I did and just peel and chop up a mango and throw that in the blender. This can also be thinned out more with milk if you like a less thick version. If your mango is super tart, add a little sugar, but if it’s good and ripe, just the mango should do fine! If you’ve never tried mango lassi, give it a go – it might just be my favorite smoothie.

mango lassi [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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watermelon ginger mint slush

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

I have been converted to a slushie lover with this watermelon slush. I definitely loved them as a kid, the crazy-colored icees at 7-11, but since then I haven’t had many because I often think they’re too sweet. After having a fantastic slush the other day at Cafe Angelique in New York, I decided it was time I tried to make one at home. I wanted the summery and not-too-sweet flavor of watermelon, mint and lime, with a little added kick of ginger. Oh how I love ginger… if you do too, make this now!

watermelon ginger mint slush [ inthiskitchen.com ]

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