Masala Chai – Indian Spiced Tea Recipe with step by step photos and easy to follow instructions:
Masala Chai – Indian Spiced Tea is one of the most popular beverages in India. Masala simply means a mixture of spices. Masala Chai is black tea brewed with a variety of aromatic spices and herbs. Our morning starts with a nice cup of hot masala chai. Masala Chai is the most comforting companion of Indian breakfast, lunch, afternoon pick-me-up snack and as well as dinner for some people. In Indian culture, guests’ visit is not logged if they leave without having a cup of chai. If you ever visit an Indian family, you must have a cup of chai whether you have room in your tummy or not. There is no such thing as saying “No” to a cup of chai.
The black tea leaves for Masala Chai come in many different varieties. Some are a long stick like leaves and others are round bits. The long leaves do not give a lot of color to Masala Chai but add very pleasant aroma to it. The round bit of chai leaves generally have strong flavor and color. I mix both types together to enhance flavor and color of Masala Chai.
My personal favorite chai leaves type is Earl Grey. I prefer to use loose chai leaves as oppose to a tea bag that way I can control the quantity I use per cup. I buy most of my black tea from India when we visit our family there but I also buy some tea leaves from our local Indian food store.
Here is how to make the most comforting Masala Chai – Spiced Tea:
Chai Masala: There are a number of different spices you can use to make masala for chai, such as Green Cardamoms, Black Cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon, Fennel (Saunf) Seeds, Carom (Ajwain) Seeds, Nutmeg, Dry Ginger Powder (Sundh or Saunth), Whole Black Peppercorns and Star Anise. Now you must be wondering “Do I really need to have all these spices?” and the answer is “No”. It is really a personal preference. If you don’t like the taste or smell of certain spice, you can exclude it.
You can also pick and choose the spices based on the season. Some spices give lots of warmth to our body, like Dry Ginger Powder, Black Cardamom, etc. so we would use these spices only in Winter season. Let me break down the spices for you for each season.
Spring: Green Cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon (in lesser quantity), Fennel (Saunf) Seeds, Carom (Ajwain) Seeds and Star Anise
Summer: Green Cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon (in lesser quantity), Fennel (Saunf) Seeds and Star Anise
Autumn (Fall): Green Cardamoms, Black Cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon, Fennel (Saunf) Seeds, Carom (Ajwain) Seeds, Nutmeg and Star Anise
Winter: Green Cardamoms, Black Cardamoms, Cloves, Cinnamon, Fennel (Saunf) Seeds, Carom (Ajwain) Seeds, Nutmeg, Dry Ginger Powder (Sundh or Saunth), Whole Black Peppercorns and Star Anise
Chai masala is also available at most Indian food stores. I have never used it. I always have spices in my pantry and it takes no time to crush a few of them together. Also, there is nothing that can beat the freshly ground spices. Ok, enough of my venting. Now let’s make some Masala Chai!!
- In a saucepan, add water. Allow the water to warm up on medium high heat. Add the masala to the warm water and bring it to a boil. Add tea leaves to the boiling water and reduce the heat to simmer the Masala Chai.
- Add milk and sugar and again bring the chai to a full boil. Reduce the heat and allow the chai to simmer. Simmering the Masala Chai for a few minutes will allow the milk to cook and infuse with spices.
- Strain the Masala Chai in a cup and enjoy it!!
Masala Chai - Spiced TeaPrep timeCook timeTotal timeSweetened black tea made with milk and a variety of aromatic spices.Author: Raj BrarRecipe type: BeverageCuisine: IndianServes: 3 - 4 servingsIngredients
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- ¼ inch piece of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
- 1 ½ tsp loose black tea leaves
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp honey or sugar or to taste
- In a small saucepan, add water. Coarsely crush cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds. Add it to water and bring it to a boil.
- Add tea leaves and simmer the mixture for about 2 minutes. Add the milk and honey and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Strain through a mesh sieve. Discard the tea leaves and the spices.
- Serve hot.