Drinks, Indian

Masala Chai


Who is a masala chai lover? ME!ME!ME! Literally masala means combination of spices and chai means tea. So masala chai is basically a mixed spice tea. Many addresses this beverage as chai tea which means tea tea. It’s so wrong and funny. Don’t ever do that ya. According to wikipedia, the word chai originated from Persian chay, which somehow originated from the Chinese word cha (which means tea).

I was introduced to masala chai by my dad few years ago. My favorite place to indulge this super yummy India originated drink is at an Indian restaurant that goes by the name Tetra House of Bryani near my place. The masala chai brewed by this shop gives very good ‘kick’. I’ll go ‘ahhhh’ at every sips and it’ll burn my throat at a mediocre level after that. Just perfect!

Masala Chai
I would say this recipe I’m sharing below are quite similar in taste with the shop’s masala chai… minus the burning throat effect (just a lil’ actually). Well if I want more ‘burning’, I could just add more peppercorns.

Alright, let’s make the mix spice.

Chai Masala
Clockwise from top left: cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cardamom.

Grind Spice Mix
Place the 4 spices as shown in the first picture in a mortar and grind to a fine powder. You can use spice grinder if you don’t have a mortar. Once the cardamom pods has pop open, discard the shell.

Add Ground Ginger
Sift the powder and then add ground ginger. Mix to combine.

Chai Masala
It’s done. My Chai masala. 🙂 I stored it in a small glass container.

To make masala chai (the tea itself), follow the recipe provided below. It’s straight forward and easy. Feel free to add/minus the sugar and chai masala quantity.

Masala Chai
Masala chai… oh just heavenly!!! Love it so much. Just thinking about it… yeah salivate. Hahaha. Remember you have to use black tea because one of the reason for the ‘kick’ is using black tea leaves.

Masala Chai With Lemongrass
Another variation is adding lemongrass. This is masala chai with lemongrass. I love it too but I like the plain one better. 😉

Masala Chai
I WANT MORE MASALA CHAI!!!

Chai masala – spice mix for tea
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking

3/4 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks, broken
16 whole cloves
16 green cardamom pods
4 teaspoons ground ginger

1. Place peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a mortar and grind to a fine powder.

2. Sift powder into a plate and add ground ginger. Stir to combine.

3. Store in an airtight container.

Masala Chai – spice mix tea
Adapted from Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking
Serves 2
Note: Just double the recipe for 4 and so on

200ml milk
200ml water
2 teaspoons black tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon chai masala
4 teaspoons sugar
Variation: 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, chopped

1. Place milk and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Lower heat to medium, add tea leaves and chai masala (add lemongrass if you’re making masala chai with lemongrass). Boil for a minute.

3. Add sugar and bring to a boil again. Then change heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. Finally, strain and pour into serving cups. Best serve piping hot!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Constance Ant May 19, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    hmm i never tried try such chai before :/ but i was intrigued by this spice tea! gonna try it next time!

    • Reply Che-Cheh May 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Please try it. It’s one of the best thing. 🙂

  • Reply Irina @ wandercrush May 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Brilliant! I’ve really got to get my hands on a mortar/pestle. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply Che-Cheh May 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Irina, welcome 😉
      Hope you like masala chai.

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