SPICY CEYLON TEA
12 green cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
3cm piece ginger, roughly sliced
500ml full-cream milk
1 tbsp jaggery powder*
1 tbsp Dilmah Pure Ceylon tea leaves (or any other full-bodied black tea)
* Jaggery powder is an unrefined palm sugar made by boiling the sap from palm trees. Kithul palm jaggery is the sweetest and most prized, with coconut palm jaggery and palmyra palm jaggery being more common. Sold in blocks, which can be grated or chopped into pieces, and in powered form, which looks similar to brown sugar. Substitute with soft brown sugar.
1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and ginger into a coarse paste.
2. Put the pounded spices and the milk into a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
3. Stir in the jaggery and bring to the boil. When the milk reaches boiling point, immediately remove from the heat and gently stir in the tea leaves. Cover and infuse for 5 minutes.
4. Pour the tea through a small sieve into a jug. To create a froth, pour the tea into four small glasses from a height (about 30cm).