Chocolate Chai Affogato

Spicy Tea and Hot Cocoa Poured Over Ice Cream

In this dreamy creation, vanilla ice cream is drowned in homemade chai infused with warm spices and chocolate. What could possibly be better?

There are a million different recipes for chai, and every household has its own. The base is almost always black tea, ginger, and green cardamom, but where you go from there is entirely up to personal preference. I like the combination of flavors in this recipe because it’s potent but not overwhelming. You should feel free to play with it, though. The fun is in creating your own personal chai recipe. Start with mine, but then try varying the quantity of spices while experimenting with other ingredients that I don’t use, such as cloves, fennel, star anise, nutmeg, and red chilli. You also can allow the chai to steep after it’s boiled, if you prefer stronger tea.

However you choose to make it, this creamy, spicy, and chocolaty concoction is the ultimate way to end your dinner.

Serves 4

3 black tea bags
3 green cardamom pods, bruised with the back of a spoon
2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into chunks
2-inch cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Vanilla ice cream
4 cinnamon sticks or 4 star anise, for garnish

  1. Pour 4 cups water into a saucepan. Add the tea bags, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and black peppercorns and bring to a boil.
  2. After about 30 seconds of boiling, add the milk. Bring back up to a boil.
  3. Turn off the heat and remove the tea bags. Whisk in the cocoa powder until completely dissolved. Strain the chai into a decanter or teapot.
  4. Place two scoops of ice cream into each individual glass serving bowl, mug, or martini glass with a spoon for serving. At the table, pour the chai over each dish of ice cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or star anise.

Reprinted from Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films by Sri Rao (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

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