What a wonderful, warming drink this is! Pure relaxation – a cup of Masala Chai and allowing your mind to empty and drift across the universe.
Chai is an Indian spiced milk tea that is generally made up of a rich black tea, full cream milk, various spices and jaggery or other sweetener. The spices used vary from region to region in India, and even amongst households. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Because of the spices, Chai produces a warming, soothing effect and gives one a wonderful sense of well being. Chai must have a sweetner added or the spices can’t share their full robust flavours. The sweetness brings out an intensity of flavour.
You only need a little chai spice mix for each cup of chai. Store the rest for later. A full recipe will keep you stocked for a while.
Garam Chai | Chai Masala
to make the Chai Masala Spice Mix – enough for 15 or more cups of tea
6 tspns cinnamon powder
2 tspns dried ginger powder
3 tspns fennel seed powder
1 tspn cardamom powder
1.5 tspns powdered cloves
0.25 tspn nutmeg powder
1 tspn ground black powder
to make the chai masala
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tspn of Chai Masala Spice Mix
2 black tea bags
jaggery or brown sugar, 0.5 – 1 Tblspn, depending on your sweet tooth
Bring the water to the boil and add the spice mix. Allow it to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the tea bags and again let it simmer for 4 – 5 minutes.
Now add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then the milk and then simmer for another 3 – 4 minutes.
Remove the teabags, strain through a sieve if required, and serve with some biscuits.
Relax and enjoy!
recipe notes and alternatives
The ratios of the spices can be varied to your taste. For example, if you like a gingery chai, try the following ratios:
100g ginger powder; 25 g cloves; 100g black peppercorns; 60g cinnamon sticks or 40g cinnamon powder; 35 g green cardamon pods; 0.5 nutmeg. Grind and use about 0.5 tspn or to taste per cup of chai.