For food expert Padma Lakshmi, tea was her entrée into the world of cooking.
“At my grandmother’s house in India, tea was the first thing they let you make in the kitchen,” Lakshmi said. “I would boil whole milk in a big pot and add tea, ginger, sugar and crushed cardamom pods.”
Lakshmi, New York Times bestselling author and host of one of America’s top cooking shows, is now sharing her lifelong love of tea as a brand ambassador for Tazo Chai.
“Tea has always been a major part of my life,” she said. “Whenever anyone comes to my house, we always offer a cup of tea regardless of the time of day.”
Tazo Chai, a creamy blend of black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and vanilla flavor, is available in grocery stores. Tazo Chai is now available in K-Cup® Packs in new Classic Chai Latte and Vanilla Caramel Chai Latte varieties.
“Chai means tea in Hindi,” she said. “I love the sweet and spicy qualities of masala chai, with cardamom, cinnamon and a hint of black pepper.”
Sweet and Spicy Tea Pairings
What does Lakshmi recommend with tea?
“Tea pairs with everything and anything,” Lakshmi said. “I like it with something savory. In the morning, I like to have cheese and toast with a bit of sweet jam with a spicy kick.”
Lakshmi, who is the author of two bestselling cookbooks and her new memoir, “Love, Loss and What We Ate,” has created several seasonal recipes to pair perfectly with Tazo Chai, including baked figs and toast with cheese and spicy jam.
Cinnamon Spice Cookies Recipe
Lakshmi’s cinnamon spice cookies are a delicious counterpoint to Tazo Chai – thin, not too sweet and perfect for dunking in a cup of tea.
“Around my house, we always referred to these cookies as tea biscuits, and we dunked them into our strongly brewed, gingery masala chai,” she said. “I like them hard and crumbly, so I flatten them a little and leave them in the oven an extra minute.”
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Sift all dry ingredients except the sugar together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Combine contents of both bowls together to form a cohesive cookie dough.
- Now, using your hands, make small balls about 1 inch in diameter with the dough. Place these balls 2 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet or line a shallow sheet pan with aluminum foil and fill.
- Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until just medium brown. Cool on a rack and store in airtight containers. Should last for up to two weeks.
Makes approximately 30 cookies
Customers can enjoy the sweet and spicy flavors of Tazo Chai at home with a variety of at-home teas, including Tazo® Chai tea filter bags, Tazo® Chai Latte K-Cup Packs and Tazo® Chai Latte concentrates, available in Skinny this summer. To find a local retailer, visit www.tazo.com/wheretobuy.