As I sit and savor this cup of masala chai tea, I am transposed to a garden swing in Ahmadabad, India, where I sit among friends and taste this tea for the first time.
With the first sip I instantly became enveloped by a bold ‘warmth’ produced from the ginger and the spiciness that stands out from the use of peppercorns in the masala spice mixture. For the American palate it can be quite surprising.
The combination of flavors, so delightful on my tongue, warmed my body. A knowing smile spread over my face as I realized that I was going to be able to enjoy this tea everyday (several times a day) for the next month while on tour throughout in India.
There is no “fixed” recipe for masala chai. Most Indian families have their own recipe for the masala spice mixture and different preparation methods. The four components they do have in common include the following: tea, milk, sugar, and masala spice mixture.
In a small pot add 1 cup of water, Red Label tea, and grated ginger.
Bring this to a boil and then add the milk, masala chai spice mixture, and sugar.
Slowly return to a boil. Strain mixture into your cup.
Masala Chai Tea
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Red Label loose tea
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 cup milk, preferably whole milk (but I use 2%)
- ½ teaspoon Masala Chai Spice Mixture (recipe to follow)
- 2 teaspoon of sugar, or more to taste
Chai Spice Mixture
- 8 peppercorns
- 8 cardamom pods (elachi pods)
- 2 cinnamon sticks (4 to 5-inch sticks)
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder