It’s no secret that in the heart of Britain, tea is more than just a drink. It’s a cherished cultural tradition and an integral part of the British way of life. During one of my teatimes, I stumbled upon a tea that added an exotic twist to my usual routine— Masala Chai. The moment I took that first sip, I knew I had unearthed something special.
Table of Contents
Masala chai recipe
Masala Chai has its roots in India. “Masala” translates to “spice,” and “chai” simply means “tea” in Hindi. This Indian tea is also called chai tea. This confused me because chai means tea, so chai tea means tea tea?!
The interesting thing is that the British was the one who introduced tea to India in the 19th century. The Masala tea is now an integral part of everyday life in India, enjoyed in homes, street stalls, and modern cafes alike.
The Masala Chai is a combination of black tea leaves, milk, and Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. To me, it’s like milk tea with spices. The addition of these spices not only enhances the flavor but also suits the Indian preference. The drink is perfect for my tea time with Rock Cakes or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
There are many types of Indian spiced tea, but I still prefer the classic Indian spiced tea recipe. Here is how to make the Masala Chai (Indian chai tea):
Traditional Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 to 2 tsp black tea leaves
- 2 to 3 whole green cardamom pods crushed
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
- 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 to 4 whole cloves
- Sugar, syrup, or sweetener to taste
- In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.
- Add the black tea leaves and the crushed cardamom pods.
- Grate the fresh ginger and add it to the saucepan.
- Break the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and add them to the mixture. Add the whole cloves to the saucepan.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, depending on how strong you prefer your tea.
- Add the milk to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the tea into a cup, using a fine mesh strainer or tea infuser to catch the tea leaves and spices.
- Sweeten the chai with sugar or your preferred sweetener.
While the authentic recipe includes black tea leaves, spices, milk, and sweetener, numerous variations cater to different tastes and regional preferences. You can add other ingredients to the original recipe, such as star anise, mint leaves, turmeric, chocolate, or even dried fruits.
To make chai tea easier next time, you can create Masala Chai Concentrate for later use. This is a condensed form of Masala tea, involving brewing a highly concentrated mixture of tea, spices, sugar, and milk. If you want to have a cup of tea, dilute the concentrate with water or milk, allowing for a quick and easy way to enjoy masala chai without going through the entire brewing process.
Chai latte recipe
You can also add more steamed milk to make Chai Latte. From this version, you can create other variations like Dirty Chai Latte (adding a shot of espresso), Vanilla Chai Latte (adding a splash of vanilla extract or vanilla syrup), or Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte (incorporating pumpkin spice syrup or pinch of pumpkin spice mix).
Here’s how you can make a delicious chai latte:
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 tsp loose black tea leaves
- 3-4 whole cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger grated (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp sugar adjust to taste
- 1 cup milk dairy or plant-based
- In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the black tea bags or tea leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and grated ginger (if using). Allow it to simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Stir in the sugar and let it dissolve. Adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
- In a separate pot, heat the milk until it’s steaming. Let it simmered for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Strain the milk into the cup. If you have a milk steamer, you can use it to create froth, or you can do it by hand.
- Once the tea is brewed, strain the mixture into a cup, removing the tea leaves and whole spices.
- Pour the steamed milk over the brewed tea.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick if desired.
Masala chai not only provides a flavorful and aromatic tea experience but also offers potential health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, the black tea in this Indian chai may contribute to improved heart health, while the blend of masala in tea like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon can aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.
The comforting warmth and calming properties of the tea may also help alleviate stress and anxiety. Additionally, the presence of cinnamon could play a role in regulating blood sugar levels.
However, the caffeine content in the tea may cause you insomnia, nervousness, and some digestive issues.