Indian Masalla Chai Tea
Indian chai tea is a delicious and sweet beverage made with milk, black tea, and several spices. Here is an authentic masala chai tea recipe that you should definitely try!
Most coffee shops serve some type of chai, usually labeled as “Chai Latte” in the menu. Many of us have tried it, but it is still not quite the same as real Indian chai.
The best way to learn the secrets of masala chai is to travel to India and learn from the locals. However, if you try this chai tea recipe here, I’m sure you will be surprised how nice and complex its spicy-sweet taste is! History of Traditional Masala Chai Tea
Tea plants have been growing wild in the Assam region of India for thousands of years. Earlier tea was used as herbal medicine by Indians, and the recreational consumption of tea became popular only in the 20th century through British influence. At first, tea was consumed in a British manner with only a little milk and sugar added to it.
Later Indians developed their own version by adding more milk and various spices to their tea. In India, the street vendors who make chai are called Chai Wallahs, and each one of them has their own unique way of making the chai. Masala chai means “mixed-spiced tea” and today it’s not popular only in India, but all over the world.
If you want to make things easy and just prepare one cup of tasty chai, you can use these organic chai tea bags from Buddha Teas.
Here is how to prepare the chai tea:
Crack the cardamom pods, cloves, and peppercorns (if you are using them) and put them in a pot. Add thinly sliced ginger, cinnamon sticks, and black tea. If you are using star anise and fennel seeds, you can also add them now. Add the water.
Bring to a low boil and cover. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes on low heat. It will be even better if you leave it on a very low heat for an hour or two. This allows a proper infusion of all the flavors.
Add milk and sugar and stir it while heating until it’s simmering hot again. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the milk to bring out the oil from the spices.
Pour into mugs or glasses through a strainer and enjoy!
How to make
There are countless different variations of masala chai tea and selection of ingredients to use. Even when choosing what kind of black tea to use, there are hundreds of choices. This recipe here is my favorite version but I also make it a little bit different every time.
Milk and Sugar
I recommend using organic full-fat milk for making the chai. If you don’t want to use dairy, you can also use plant-based milk. My favorite from plant-based options is almond milk. For the sweetener, sugar is the traditional option. I often use organic raw honey instead of sugar.
For the spices, I recommend using organic high-quality ingredients as much as possible. The most important ingredients in addition to milk and black tea are fresh ginger, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. The other ingredients are optional, but I prefer always adding some star anise.
To make things a bit easier, you can also use a ready-made blend of spices. You can find my favorite chai blends in this article: Best Chai Tea Brands — Easy Homemade Chai
List of ingredients for 6 servings of Traditional Masala Chai Tea:
3 cups (7 dl) of water
3 cups (7 dl) of whole milk (or almond, cashew, soy, oat or another plant-based milk)
5 tablespoons of Assam loose leaf black tea (or 3 to 4 tea bags)
1 inch (2,5 cm) piece of ginger, sliced
10 whole cloves
15 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 (about 2 inches) of cinnamon stick
5–10 teaspoons of brown sugar (or honey, or other sweeteners)
15 black peppercorns
5 star anises
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds