This is my favorite chai recipe for when I have friends over or a long day of working from the home office. This is similar to what was made in the kitchen of my friend's Indian restaurant where I was the prep chef for several years. The recipe can be reduced to a single serving and all of the ingredients can be adjusted to taste.
|Prep Time||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup loose black tea Or 6-8 tea bags
- 10 pieces whole cloves
- 8 slices ginger root
- 6 pods cardamom
- 2 pieces cinnamon stick
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Start by making the masala. Crush or crack the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and peppercorns with a small mallet or pestle and mortar. Just enough to break them up and make them more aromatic.
- In a medium-sized saucepan preferably with a spout for pouring, add the crushed spices along with the slices of ginger, nutmeg, and fennel seeds. Add the 6 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and add your loose leaf tea or tea bags of your choice. I like strong black tea and spicy masala to start my day. Taj Mahal brand is my favorite go to. Let the tea steep for 5-8 minutes.
- Finally add 2 cups of whole milk and bring to a slow simmer. Watch and stir the entire time as the contents will boil over and burn in a matter of seconds.
- Once the saucepan is at a steaming simmer, turn off the heat and pour through a strainer into the serving cup(s).
- Add sugar to taste. If you are a citrus fan you can also add a little zest from oranges or tangerines.
You can make the masala the night before, remove it from heat, cover with a lid and let sit overnight. In the morning add your loose leaf tea and start the recipe from there. This saves a step in the morning and makes for a stronger more robust aroma and flavor.