I’d recently made a version of Not Without Salt’s [Ashley Rodriguez’s] home-made chai recipe and was blown away with how good it was. Much better than any chai I’d had from a tea bag. Even my boyfriend who’s had his share of good chai while hiking around Nepal [lucky dog] was impressed.
So when I lounged in bed this past Sunday morning thinking of what lay in my pantry and in my fridge I thought why not cook some old fashioned oats in some homemade chai and see what happens…so I shuffled downstairs in my shearling slippers and got cooking.
It takes a little more effort but I think it’s worth trying. I mean who doesn’t want the smell of simmering home-made chai filling their kitchen?
[Prep: 5 / Cook: 30 TOTAL: 35]
- 2 cups of old fashioned oatmeal
- 3 ½ cups milk [I used 2%]
- ¼ cup sugar, I used granulated sugar and light brown sugar mixed equal parts
- 2 inch piece of ginger peel and sliced or about ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 black pepper corns
- 1 cinnamon stick or about ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 whole cloves or about 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 8 whole cardamom pods crushed or about 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon loose black tea
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- pinch of nutmeg or a few grates
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds [optional]
- ½ cup whole pecans, roughly chopped, lightly salted and toasted
- ½ granny smith apple, washed, and finely chopped
- 4 dried figs [or any other fruit] chopped
While the chai mixture is steeping prep the toppings for the granola. Wash and dice up the granny smith apple and chop the dried figs. Cut the pecans in halves or thirds. You don’t want the pieces to be too small because they will burn when toasted. Put the pecan pieces into a small cast iron skillet and lightly salt. Toast for 3-5 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them, once they start to toast – you’ll smell it – they will burn not long after. When they are ready remove them from the skillet or they will keep cooking and burn.
When the chai mixture is done steeping, strain it into a small mixing bowl. Discard the used spices and pour the strained chai back into the saucepan. Bring it back to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often. Once it simmers, add the oatmeal, turn the heat down to medium and let sit for 2 minutes. Add chia seeds to the chai oatmeal and wait 2 more minutes stirring often. The oatmeal should be done after 4-5 minutes.
Serve in a warmed bowl and top with the apple, pecans and figs.