Indian Masala Tea | Recipe for Masala Chai

Indian Masala tea with spices and herbs
Indian Masala tea with spices and herbs

Indian Masala Tea is an authentic spicy milky drink made from tea leaves and a combination of Indian flavours. This masala tea also known as “masala chai” in India, and is a very popular drink, especially enjoyed during rain or cold weather. It is perfect for winters, when we want to keep our bodies warm, and the spices used in it helps in fighting diseases like sinus, cough / cold and even throat infection. Personally, I use a touch extra of basil and black pepper when facing the cold. Sipping a hot cup of Masala Tea makes it way better.

Let’s now understand the concepts
Masala means a mixture of spices, and in our Indian masala tea, the best method to use these spices is to give them a boil along with milk and water. In India, the masala chai varies from home to home. Masala Chai is locally customized based on personal preference of the various spices and considering the associated health benefits. Try adding lemon grass as well, since helps in detoxifying the body.
Even Mint is a great natural coolant that can be added as well.

To make Indian Masala tea you can use the spices of your choice but there are two methods – One is to focus on one key spice like ginger or cardamom, or use small quantity of several ingredients. Fresh ginger, Basil leaves, tea powder, and Crushed spices are simmered in water to infuse the flavours.

For the lactose intolerant or lovers of the infamous black tea, the spices work just the same. However, you might want to add just a hint of Lemon juice to counter the spice flavor.

Next time you get that cough or flu just follow the simple method of making this herbal drink and you will love the way you’ll recover.

Tip: You can make the Masala tea with any two ingredients like basil and ginger or ginger and black pepper.
Tip: If using all spices then take small quantity of all ingredients.

Ingredients for Indian Masala Tea

Note: All measurements are as per cup – multiply for the number of cups or medium-sized mugs you are making.

  • 3/4 cup water plus 1/4 cup milk (if you are using skimmed milk, use half milk and half water).
  • Sugar to taste
  • Roughly 2 teaspoons per cup loose black tea leaves (Ideally Assam tea, here English Breakfast will do).

Some or all of the following Spices2 green cardamom pods

  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1-2 pieces cinnamon
  • Fresh ginger (2-3 thin slices for extra zing)
  • 4 to 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Herbs and spices used in indian masala tea
    Herbs and spices used in indian masala tea

    Method for making Indian Masala Tea

    1. Heat water and as soon as it comes to a boil, add fresh grated or crushed ginger (I use mortar and pestle as it gives the best flavour). If you want to use any other ingredient as mentioned, then add small quantity of it like fresh basil leaves, a few pods of green cardamom, Cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, peppercorns and/or cinnamon.
    2. After 2 minutes, you can add milk and let it boil again, when the milk / water mixture boils, add loose black tea. Turn off the heat and let steep for 2 minutes.
    3. Pour into a cup through a sieve to strain out tea leaves and spices. Add sugar / sweetener to taste.
    4. Serve hot with cookies but it goes best with fritter or pakoras of your choice in rainy season. Try it.

    Thank you so much for reading, if anyone has any specific tips that can change or improve the taste of this awesome drink, then please don’t shy away to leave a comment below.

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