Masala Chai, one of India’s staple beverages, is a delicious drink made with black tea leaves, milk, spices, and sugar.
When I was visiting my grandparents in India, we would have “tea time” around 5pm. It was the greatest feeling ever to sit around, drink warm chai, and eat biscuits in the early evening. And it wasn’t just us. Every household stopped their day at this time to enjoy a cup of chai. Even the shopkeepers would be drinking chai at this time as they worked out on the street.
This beverage isn’t too hard to make, as long as you have access to a stove.
- 3 cups Water
- 1 cup whole Milk*
- ¼ tsp freshly ground Ginger
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 4 Whole Cloves
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar (to taste)
- 4 tsp Indian tea leaves – you can buy these from an Indian grocery store. Some popular brands include Red Label, Brooks Bond, and Tetley.
*You can also use 2% milk or Fat Free milk to make this, as long as you adjust the water:milk ratio. If using 2%, then use 2 cups milk, 2 cups water. If using Fat Free, then just use 4 cups milk and no water.
** You can also use tea bags, rather than tea leaves, although tea leaves provide the chai with a more authentic flavor.
Gently crush the ginger (you can use a mortar and pestle if you have one, or simply use the back of a spoon on your chopping board). Combine the ginger, water, and milk, and bring to a boil.
Dry out the mortar and pestle (if you are using one), and crush the cardamom and cloves.
Once the milk, water, and ginger are boiling, lower the heat, and add the tea leaves, cardamom, cloves, and sugar. Let the tea steep for about 3 minutes.
Strain directly into teacups, or into another pot, and enjoy!
Masala chai is great with a biscuit, nuts, or a buttered toast.
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