On those mornings when I don't have the energy to whip up something from scratch, I simply modify a premade buttermilk pancake mix. Usually I just add a bunch of cinnamon and a handful of oats and bake per box instructions, but this morning I wanted to do something else.
I thought I'd give chai pancakes a try...I love chai, and I love pancakes...it's win-win, right?
They turned out pretty good! Maybe next time I'll try to find the black tea I have in the cupboards here from the last time my Mom visited. All the ingredients are things that I had in the cupboard, so adjust as you need to...if you have a cinnamon stick, throw that in instead of ground cinnamon. Have whole cloves? Use those instead of the ground stuff. I happened to have some cardamom pods but I could have just as easily used the ground stuff. The only thing I probably wouldn't substitute is the fresh ginger root for ground, if you can help it.
For the record, I'm sure you could make it a lot simpler and just steep a commercially made chai tea bag in the milk and call it a day, but you wouldn't have the control you do when you mix the flavours yourself...and also, it's just more fun to mix it yourself (if you have the stuff handy)...I like to cackle like a Mad Scientist when I add things to the pot. It's true!
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick)
8 cardamom pods, cracked open (or, maybe 1/4 tsp ground?)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (or, maybe 6 whole cloves)
1" slice of ginger, roughly chopped
1/8 tsp freshly ground (or cracked) black pepper
(and around 2 tsp black tea leaves if you wish)
Powdered pancake mix (I use PC Extra-Fluffy & Complete Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix)
Handful of oats
Place milk and water in a small saucepan and heat gently. Don't want to scald this.
Add all the spices (and tea if you're using it) and simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Smells good, right? Taste (trying to avoid the whole hunks of stuff in there) and adjust spices to your taste. I added a squirt of honey to sweeten it up a bit.
Place required amount of pancake mix in a medium sized bowl (I just eyeball the amount I need), add oats, and pour warm spiced milk mixture over. Stir and add water as necessary to make batter the right consistency.
Fry those puppies up and enjoy!