How To Make (Masala) Chai! Easy RECIPE for ginger or cardamom tea!

MY VIEWS | | May 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

I love CHAI. I have not always but as I grew to fall in love with my husband, I fell in love with one of his favorite drinks. Now we start the day with it. I don’t measure so this is tough. Firstly let’s get a few things straight – CHAI is  means tea in Hindi. So any tea can be called CHAI – I know right? So when Starbucks (or everyone else) says “chai tea” it is basically saying “tea tea“!

What you call or know as chai commonly is really MASALA CHAI! Masala, is a word for spice and while you may associate that with “spicy” – spices are there for flavor and not necessarily spicy. The basic ingredients are many but I am going to keep it very, very simple and give you just 2 easy recipes. Now doing this was tough because I NEVER measure, well almost never, baking I do. I eyeball everything and somehow it turns out exactly. Even if I make handmade bread (roti) I touch the dough and work from the feel of it.

I decided to just focus on my favorite 2 types of chai. Hubby is a total ginger chai fan and I am a cardamom chai fan. Thankfully we like each other’s chai so we coexist harmoniously. Chai is such a huge deal for us that if one wakes before the other we leave chai made ready for the other to enjoy. It is our little symbol of love and much appreciated. When one is tired or having a tough the other kicks off a pot of chai as a way to relax. We look forward to grab a few minutes together before the kids awake to savor our chai together. I can skip breakfast (which I shouldn’t) but never chai!

The reason I chose these two is that they are similar with just replacing the one main ingredient for the other.



(with ginger (adrak – hindi) or cardamom (elaichi – hindi)


1 teaspoon tea leaves loose (not bagged)  – I use Orange Pekoe or Ceylon

1 cup water

1/2 cup milk ( I use organic 1 % – I find whole milk  and 2% too creamy and kill the spice taste and fat free too weak)

a few slices of fresh ginger (don’t you dare bother with powdered or the ground ones in bottles as they add other stuff in it)


3 – 4 pods of cardamom – make sure they are green in color not gray. Crack open with mortar and pestle so you can see black seeds. No need to grind them, just crack open the pods.

sweetener of choice – I used Sugar in the Raw – use as needed

You will also need a saucepan or something similar to boil the water and a tea strainer


Boil the water in saucepan. Put freshly sliced (or grated) ginger or cardamom pods which were cracked open in the water. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Add the teaspoon of tea leaves in and turn heat down only slightly so still boiling but not rapidly. Add milk. Add sweetener/sugar. Watch as it boils and you will see a deep rich color like a light reddish tan.  As it starts bubbling and looks foaming to the top watch it carefully. Let it look like it is about to boil over then take it off the heat and switch off stove. Strain and enjoy! Of course it is hot so use caution.

And lastly ENJOY!

by Nirasha Jaganath


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