Indian Tea/ Masala Chai

No matter where you are in India, you are never that far away from a steaming cup of masala chai, or spiced tea.  With its creamy, opaque texture, peppery bite, and cardamom aroma, masala chai is quite different than your standard American or British cup of tea, and packs a real spice and caffeine punch. Despite the recent popularity of pre-made tea bags calling themselves chai, true masala chai can only be made by boiling the milk, ginger, and spices in with the water to achieve sublime perfection.  Indian grocery stores also sell pre-mixed spices called masala chai spices, but I find the inclusion of black pepper in these mixtures to be too harsh.  By mixing the spices yourself, you can adjust them to find the perfect balance of flavors to suite your individual tastes. It’s a little bit of extra work, but worth every drop.   

  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole milk, but low-fat will do)
  • one inch of ginger, peeled
  • 3 cardamom pods, left whole
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in two pieces
  • 3 bags of strong black tea, such as Lipton’s or Twinning’s English Breakfast
  • 3 teaspoons sugar (or more, to taste)

Place the water, milk, ginger, and spices in a pot. Turn the heat to medium and gently boil the mixture for two or three minutes, making sure the milk does not scald. Shut the heat and immediately add the tea bags. Steep for three to five minutes. Remove tea bags, add sugar to taste, and pour chai into cups, making sure to strain out the spices and ginger. Enjoy! 


About Michelle

2 Responses to Indian Tea/ Masala Chai

  1. Emily says:


    And can I ask you kind of a foolish question? What does scalding mean?

  2. Michelle says:

    Not foolish at all! Scalding is when the milk boils at too high a temperature and a film forms on it. Thanks for our first comment!

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