Masala chai poached pears

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 4


6 cardamom pods, cracked
2 slices fresh root ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
100g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp darjeeling loose leaf tea
4 comice, green williams or conference pears


1 Put the cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, fennel seeds, sugar and tea leaves in a medium saucepan with 1 litre just-boiled water; bring back to a simmer.

2 Peel the pears, add to the pan (topping up with more hot water, if needed, to cover) and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Leave to cool in the liquid for 30 minutes, then remove the pears and set aside. Pour the liquid through a sieve, discard the aromatics, and return to the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce until lightly syrupy. Serve the pears warm or chilled, with a little of the chai liquid poured over and vanilla ice cream on the side, if liked. SF