If you are of the opinion that making Indian Masala Chai is complicated, requiring different types of complex, then you are at the right place . This Indian tea recipe breaks down in easy steps how to make Indian chai at home with ingredients that are easy to find and buy.
What makes this an easy Indian spice tea recipe are the options of masala tea spices to choose from, which is what makes this recipe flexible and easy to follow. You can choose from a list of spices that you may already have avoiding the need to buy anything in addition.
What is Masala Chai?
There is no Indian street that runs longer than 5 kms without a quaint, shanty looking ‘Chai Stall’ somewhere!!
It is a warming cup of ‘garam masala chai’ that Indians just can’t do without, regardless of any socio-economic status!!
Indian Masala chai is a flavour that binds the entire nation together.
An authentic masala chai also known as ‘desi chai’ in Hindi, is a sweet Indian milk tea brewed on low flame till the smell of milk & black tea leaves infused with spices fills the air, before being poured into small shot glasses.
OOh, the joy of wrapping your hands around the hot cup or glass (if at the stall) and sniffing through the exotic smell is an emotionally engulfing experience in itself without even taking the first sip.
If you are a coffee shop ‘Chai Latte’ fan then I highly recommend you to try the authentic Indian spice tea experience and understand the story behind Indian chai tea latte.
Ingredients For Masala Chai
Like most Indian dishes there is no set authentic masala chai recipe.
Each one or households have different way of making Indian masala tea.
Some use 2-3 spices while others can add as many as 8 – 9 different spices.
The one thing constant in most Indian chai recipes is the use of fresh ginger, green cardamom, and milk.
Below is a list of whole spices that can be used to make homemade chai.
You can choose to add any of the spices listed below in addition to fresh ginger and black tea leaves. It is the flexibility of ingredients to choose from that makes this one of the best masala tea recipe.
PANTRY AND FRESH INGREDIENTS
⇒ Black tea leaves ( loose or tea bags)
⇒ Fresh ginger
LIST OF SPICES TO CHOOSE FROM
⇒ Bay leaves
⇒ Cinnamon stick (Select the right type of cinnamon for cooking)
⇒ Green Cardamom (Click here for uses and benefits)
⇒ Fennel seeds (Click for fennel seed uses)
⇒ Ginger powder
⇒ Mint leaves
⇒ Star anise
Start making your own traditional Indian chai by choosing 2 to 3 different spices at a time or more if you prefer. With different combinations you will finally get to your most favourite homemade chai tea masala or spice tea mix that you can make and repeat.
Refer to cooking notes below for substitute options and cooking tips.
Step By Step Method With Images
Below is the step by step process of how to make Indian chai tea at home.
Select your spices and roughly crush them to release flavour.
Add 2.5 cups of water to a pan, bring to warm and add the spices and ginger to the water. Boil for 3 mins.
Add black tea leaves and milk and continue to boil until it becomes slightly thick in consistency
Add sugar or your chosen sweetener to taste, strain and serve hot.
Cooking Notes And FAQ’s
The method of making masala chai is more or less the same across all recipes.
However one can easily alter the proportion, spices, sugar type and boiling time as per your own liking.
Spicy masala chai originates from Northern India, where they like to make their tea spicy, sweet and very milky.
But this recipe can be easily adapted to suit your personal preference.
Here are few tips and alternatives for you to make your cup of Indian spice tea:
What Spices to Use for Making Indian Spice Tea?
- Choose from any of the spices listed above. Gently crush or break the spices in a mortal and pestle to release the oils before adding to boiling water.
- Spice proportion to use for making one cup of tea – Use only 1 of each spice for making 1 cup of tea. 1/2 inch or less of cinnamon stick and ginger. Half teaspoon for whole seeds spices or powdered spices.
What Type of Tea Leaves are Best For Authentic Indian Chai ?
- The Indian spice tea is made using loose black tea leaves. You can buy them from any Indian store if you have access to one or maybe in the tea section of a large supermarket.
- Any black tea bags such as English breakfast, Yorkshire tea, Lipton Yellow label also work well.
What Is The Best Sugar Substitutes for Masala Chai?
- Indian Masala Chai is normally sweet but you can choose to have it without sugar.
- A healthy substitute for sugar are Palm sugar, sweetner, jaggery and honey. I have read recipes with maple syrup as well.
Can You Use Lactose Free Milk ?
You can easily substitute normal milk with almond milk, hemp milk for a lactose free masala chai.
You should be fine as long as the the milk does not have a strong taste or smell.
Can I make milk-free Indian Masala Tea?
Yes you can. But in doing so limit the number and quantity of spices used as well as the amount of tea leaves.
Also do not over boil the water for too long. Boiling water with spices and tea leaves for 5 minutes should work fine.
What is the Ideal Water and Milk ratio for Masala Chai?
- Always add more than 1 cup of water for making one cup of tea since the spices need time to boil in water.
- If you like your tea milky then use 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup milk and boil till it reduces to 1 cup
- For a lighter less milky version – add 1/4 cup milk at the end and let it warm up in boiling water before pouring out.
Where to buy Spices online?
Not sure if you can get all the spices listed in the recipe.
Buying all kinds of fresh spices cant get easier than buying them through online store at The Spice House and get them delivered to you directly.
Click here to discover the world of flavors at TheSpiceHouse.com.