I drink a lot of tea--black, green, oolong. I drink a lot of lemongrass tisane--fresh lemongrass steeped in hot water. I don't normally drink the two together so I was intrigued by this recipe for Leelee Chai--or Indian Lemongrass Tea from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.
Jaffrey says, "I have only seen this drunk in the West Indian state of Gujarat. In the city of Ahmedabad we were offered large, handleless bowlfuls of it. It had been made very strong and was served sweetened, with milk. You might like to make it weaker and have it without the milk and sugar."
Lemongrass Tea (Leelee Chai)
From Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, the bottom 6-inches, thinly sliced
5 tsp Assam or Darjeeling black tea
milk and sugar to taste
Combine the lemongrass and 4 1/4 cups of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain the water into a warmed teapot and immediately add the tea. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Serve with milk and sugar or plain.
Notes/Results: I used a first-flush Darjeeling and fresh local lemongrass and it made for a lighter, brighter cup of tea with a slightly floral, lemony finish. Normally I am a no-cream-or-sugar-in-my-tea-kind-of-girl, but this tea was even better with a dash of coconut milk non-dairy creamer and a touch of honey. It's also good iced, with a squeeze of lemon. Definitely drinkable, I will make it again.
There's an Indian Tea Party over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. You can check out the tea and tea-friendly treats everyone made by going to the post and following the links.
Happy Aloha Friday!