4 cups/960 ml water
2 Tbsp Assam or Darjeeling tea leaves
2 Tbsp ground chai masala, homemade or store-bought
½ cup/240 ml milk
Sugar or sweetener to taste
- Add the water to a small saucepan. Add the tea leaves and chai masala and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid turns dark and the spices are fragrant. For a more potent brew, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Uncover, pour in the milk, and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar as needed. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for 1 minute. Strain the hot liquid through a fine-mesh tea strainer held over a teapot or directly into teacups. Serve hot with cookies or teatime treats.
- Some people, including myself, prefer the taste of fresh ginger root over powdered ginger in masala chai. However, when you don’t have fresh ginger at home or forget to add it for some reason, the ground ginger powder will do the trick (make sure it’s got good flavor).
- I prefer starting with whole spices over their ground counterparts whenever I make spice blends. Since whole spices aren’t ground initially, they pack more flavor than ground ones. This recipe lists amounts for whole spices and not ground spices when relevant.
- When making masala chai, feel free to tweak the ratios of water and milk. You can leave the milk out or use non-dairy milk like oat, whole milk, or skim milk, add sugar or honey or leave sweeteners out altogether. Masala chai is a personal experience.
- For a spicier flavor, add crushed slices of fresh ginger root in addition to the ground ginger that’s already present in the chai masala at the stage when the tea leaves are added.
- If you decide to skip the milk when making the chai masala, use 4 ½ cups/1000 ml of water. If you use milk, then follow the recipe as is.
- I make this spice blend in small batches of ¼ cup, but you can easily double, triple, quadruple, etc., the recipe to make larger quantities.
- I boil tea for 5 minutes, but if you prefer a more potent flavor, you can boil it longer. But keep in mind, the longer black tea is boiled, the tea can run the risk of turning very bitter.
- Traditionally, dairy milk is used to make chai, but you can use a plant-based milk of your liking to make this vegan.