Masala Chai from India

We learned NINE full recipes from the amazing Rajna in Orcha, India. She welcomed us into her own home and showed us everything needed to make a full Indian meal, including Masala Chai, Mixed Vegetable Pohkora, Eggplant Curry, Spinach Cutty, Guava Chutney, Bundi Raita, Dal Fry, Veggie Rice, and of course fresh bread.

Up first, Masala Chai. You can’t go anywhere in India without having this hot drink offered. It’s a creamy tea with a punch of spices and feels a bit like Christmas and Thanksgiving in a cup. In the states we often call it “Chai Tea”. But “Chai” acutally means “tea”…so we’re just calling it “tea tea”. “Masala” means “spiced”. So Masala Chai = Spiced Tea.

15-20 minutes, 5 steps, 9 ingredients, 1 pot.

2 cups water
2 cups whole milk (you can easily sub for any kind of milk, even dairy free, that you prefer)
2 tsp black tea leaves (sub loose leaves with a 1-2 tea bags)
2-3 tsp sugar (You can substitute with honey, agave, maple, etc!)
Green cardamoms (4)
Black peppercorns (4)
Cloves (4)
Small Cinnamon stick (1)
Pinch of grated ginger

Prep: Lightly crush your spices for the freshest, strongest flavor. This will also give you more flavor from a smaller amount.
– Put water, black tea, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
– Add milke, let simmer and steep for 7 minutes.
– Sweeten to taste.
– Strain and serve.

We used 1/2 water, 1/2 milk for the base. You can make it creamier with more milk, or thinner with more water.
You can make a batch in advance using just water and refrigerate it. Add milk, heat it up, and serve when you’re ready.