A flavorful, rich, relaxing Masala Chai or Indian Milk Tea with aromatic spice is something to sit back, relax and sip this drink from heaven. The chai is generally enjoyed mid-morning (11 am) or late afternoon (4:00~5:00pm) often relished with a small plate of Samosa or Vegetable Cutlet or just British Cookies (generally unsweetened) snack.
If you are wondering this drink from the Gods can be made only by those deeply rooted in the Indian Sub- Continent, it is not so. The chai is so easy to prepare and can be learnt literally in minutes on first try and generally if self-made, you can customize the spices, richness and flavor to your own taste.
India Black Tea powder or granules: 2~3 teaspoons (Indian Tea Bags can also be used)
Milk: ½ cup (2% or whole milk. Non-homogenized if available)
Water: 1/2 ~ ¾ cup
Sugar: 1~2 teaspoons (Raw unrefined sugar also known as Demerara or Turbinado sugar if available)
Whole Cardamom: 1 (or few cardamom seeds instead)
Cinnamon sticks: ¼ inch piece
Ginger: ¼ inch piece (fresh, dried or frozen, de-skinned)
Nutmeg: a pinch
Note: You do not require all the spices mentioned above. You can use one or all or none of the above mentioned optional spices. Adding the spices changes the flavor and aroma of the Chai.
1. Heat the water in a small sauce pan or container.
2. Add any or all of the above mentioned spices into the container. Smash the spices slightly with meat tenderizer or any heavy object slightly before adding them to release a stronger flavor
3. When the water begins to boil add the ½ cup of milk into it. You can use 2% or whole milk to get the best consistency. 1% and fat free milk tends to be too light, but can be used. Non-homogenized milk or cream top milk gives the best original taste to the chai
4. Set the heat to medium or low and let it boil for 5 minutes or so. All the flavors of the spices will be released and mixed into the milk concoction.
5. Now reduce the heat to simmer and add 2~3 teaspoon of any good brand of Indian black tea power or granules available in Indian grocery stores or online. Gently stir the mixture occasionally.
6. Let it simmer for only about 30 seconds to 1 minute at most. If you need a stronger tea flavor, use additional teaspoons of the tea powder, but avoid keeping it for more than 1 minute as it will release the tannin in the tea which makes the tea taste bitter.
7. Add the required amount of sugar into a tea/coffee cup and place a tea strainer on top of it. Now pour the hot chai over the strainer into the cup slowly.
8. If you do not have an original Indian tea powder, use any available black tea bags and drop them into the milk concoction and simmer it for the same amount of time. A tea strainer is not needed in this situation.
1. Sit back on a comfortable chair or couch, sip and enjoy the hot masala chai along with any snacks such as samosa, vegetable cutlet, cookies
2. This is a perfect setting to begin a great conversation with someone or to just unwind yourself.