I drink Masala Chai a lot specially in winter. Masala means ‘mixed spice’ and Chai means ‘tea’. I first learned about this tea when I visited a north Indian friend of mine. It was raining that day and her mom had made this delicious tea with piping hot pakodas! She said this was a tradition in their place during the rainy season.
I fell so much in love with this tea. The warm and comforting feeling as you bite into the crispy pakodas and sip into this delicious tea is something! Just the scent of cloves, cinnamon and ginger from the tea is therapeutic. I guess this tradition came to existence as a way to prevent cold and flu during monsoons.
Let’s get cooking now! This recipe would serve 4 people.
- Tea Leaves – 1 or 2 tablespoon (according to your strength preference)
- Milk – 4 1/2 cups or Milk Powder – 10 teaspoons mixed with 4 1/2 cups water
- Sugar, Jaggery (or your preferred sweetener) – to taste
- Crushed Ginger – 2 teaspoons
- Crushed Cardamom Pods – 4 to 5 pods
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon Stick – 2 inch stick
Pour the milk into a saucepan. If you are using milk powder, mix it well with water without any lumps. Add all the ingredients except the tea leaves and set it on medium to low fire. When it starts to roll at the surface, add in the tea leaves. Now the fun part – let it simmer for 5-6 minutes as you switch between increasing and decreasing the fire without letting the tea spill over. You may simmer for longer time if you want the tea more strong. Switch off the fire when desired strength is achieved and strain the tea. Mix in your sweetener.
Serve hot with snacks of your choice. It’s lovely even without any snacks!
The spices used in Masal Chai differ from place to place and people to people. It depends on a person’s taste and which spice note you prefer. Some people add in peppercorns, nuts, rose petals, cumin, fennel, nutmeg, coriander, mint, licorice root, etc… to their Masala tea. I personally like the ginger flavor to be stronger than the other spices.
Do give this a try and let me know how you like it.
♥ Abidha Basheer ♥