Oatmeal-chai Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
12 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods, crushed
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons black tea leaves (such as darjeeling or assam)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups regular oats
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tea leaves, and steep 2 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Stir in buttermilk; cool to room temperature. Add butter, vanilla, and eggs; stir well with a whisk.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to milk mixture; stir until combined. Stir in oats. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Pairs Well With
Because the chai spices steep in milk and are then discarded, they flavor this dish more delicately than if ground spices were added to the batter. Serve with apple butter, dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with honey. For convenience, make the batter the night before, cover, and refrigerate.