Whether it’s a conversation starter with friends or family, a short “tea’’ break at work or a cosy moment at home during monsoons . A cup of “Masala Chai” or Spiced tea, is a perfect choice to be relished during such times. A fusion of fragrant spices to give a flavourful twist to your average “Chai”, this recipe is completely worth pining for !!
About Masala Chai
No one can possibly miss seeing local “tea” or “Chai” stalls, at every corner of the streets of India. Every household has a ritual to begin the day with a cup of “Chai” in the morning . The “Masala Chai” is the most popular among the various versions of tea. Traditionally, fresh ground spices is used to enhance the flavours to make that authentic “Masala Chai”, which mainly includes ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves while Assam tea is preferred as it brews a strong liquor (so that the blend of spices are not overpowering) then finally served hot with milk and sweetener of choice.
In India “chai” means tea and “Masala” is the word used for spice, so basically it is a Spiced tea. The use of spices and herbs to make “Chai” has been a common practice for years.
In every way, the “Masala Chai” makes for a delicious and comforting warm beverage.
The recipe of my “Masala Chai” is more of a luxury of enjoying a rich blend of flavours in a tea.
How to make the masala chai
- Choosing the spices and herbs is the starting point to make the tea. Spices and herbs contain many medicinal properties beneficial for health. My personal favourite includes Cardamom (Elaichi) which has cancer fighting and anti-inflammatory compounds, cinnamon which lowers the risk of diabetes and has a natural sweetness to it, Cloves contain a good source of antioxidants, black peppercorns helps in digestion and nutrient absorption, Star Anise and Ginger strengthens immunity against cold and flu.
Using my pestle and mortar I take all my spices and ground them into a coarse mixture.
- Let us start boiling the water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 97’ degree Celsius to make the liquor for the Chai. I preferred to go for my favourite variety of tea, which is the English breakfast tea (it can be tea bags or loose). Place one tea bag or add one teaspoon of the tea into a brewing pot. Once the water is boiled, pour the simmering water (not boiling) over the tea bag or loose tea and add the grounded spice mixture.
- Keep the pot covered, and let the tea and the spices steep for 5 minutes to release the flavours. Once done, strain the whole spices to separate the tea into a kettle. Keep it covered with a tea towel and allow it to brew. Add a splash of milk of choice , and sweetener if you wish
Enjoy the aromatic flavours of spiced herbal tea with these digestives. Sheer bliss
- 1 rounded teaspoon or 1 tea bag black tea English breakfast
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole black peppercorn
- ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
- A small piece cinnamon stick ceylon
- 1 -2 cardamom pods
- 1 whole star anise
- 2-3 tablespoon of milk of choice
- Boil water till 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 97 degrees Centigrade.
- Pour the simmering water over the tea bag or loose tea .(not boiling) and drop spice mixture like cloves peppercorn, dried ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and star anise.
- Steep for 5 minutes for it to release flavour. Strain the whole spices to separate the tea mixture with spices.
- Add a splash of milk and sugar.
- Enjoy Spiced Herbal tea with Digestive Biscuits.
- Flavour of tea varies with the quality of water,brewing pot,tea leaves,water temperature and seeping time.
- Cover the tea pot with a tea cozy to retain temperature while seeping or use a tea towel.
- Seeping tea in a teapot is preferred as against seeping tea in a teacup.
- Addition of white/brown sugar and milk is optional.
- Choice of spices can be as per availability and choice