Masala chai – The Indian tea

by Helene Dsouza on February 3, 2012

What warms you up when cold winds and weather threaten your comfort? A good cup of hot beverage. In Europe it would be mostly coffee, hot milk chocolate and some tea. In India there is only tea and not just any tea, the Indian chai. Chai means actually tea but in the western world it is understood that chai is a milk tea type. What is masala chai then and whats the difference?

Masala Chai masalaherb.com #stepbystep #recipe @masalaherb

Masala means a mix of different spices. There are incredibly lots of Masala mixtures, they are used in the Indian kitchen to add a unique flavours to the dish and they have special Ayurvedic properties (Ayurveda is the name of the traditional Indian medicine). So a masala chai contains not only black tea, water and milk but some health benefiting spices too, and spices warm you up, right?

Masala Chai masalaherb.com #stepbystep #recipe @masalaherb

The other day me and my husband we had a talk about spices in general. We came to the conclusion that every human being experiences some spice types in a different way. For example… my husband feels that the spice clove is pungent spicy in his mouth, while I love clove and I don’t feel any hot feeling. At the other hand I cant have too much chili cause it burns in my throat, while my husband can chew some few of them without trouble.

So it really depend on each individual. The first time I had spicy food was in India and honestly I was shocked. Imagine having some Veg dish in your mouth but you can’t taste the vegetable, in fact u don’t really taste, what you experience is something like a organic bomb in your mouth. I was surprised to know later that there was more then just chili but a few spice types, which I couldn’t have possibly distinguished and recognized. Chili isn’t a big thing in middle Europe, we never use it in our cooking and spices are very rare in traditional cooking, mixing them all together is unimaginable for a person from there. Some people like my sister consider it even a crime and I used to think the same.

But! Even I got used to the food and I started to enjoy Indian food in my husbands households (chili is less). It all started to make sense, why they would mix together certain spices. It was all of a sudden so clear to me and that’s when I fell in love with masalas. If you get to think, Indian cooking is very smart, you can even call them genius. Spices are so healthy and to know how to combine them right and in a right dose is not that simple, it is an ART!

Masala Chai masalaherb.com #stepbystep #recipe @masalaherb

Masala chai - The Indian tea
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-3 Cups
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs Assam Black tea (granulate)
  • 2 cups Water
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 2 Green Cardamon pods
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • pinch white pepper
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1-2 cloves - optional
  • sugar
Instructions
  1. Take a pot and fill it with the water, keep on slow heat and add in the Black tea. Smash the cardamon a bit so that the flavours can mix better into the tea and add it to the water. Add in the remaining spices and keep the heat slightly higher. Bring it to a boil and set the heat back down, let it simmer for 10 mins. At the end add in the milk and sugar and mix well. To serve it strain the tea first and fill it into the cups. Ready!

 

South Asian snacks are usually enjoyed with an afternoon chai or even for breakfast. Here are some recipes for Veg cutlets and Onion Pakoras which would go perfectly well with this masala chai!

 

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

Latest posts by Helene Dsouza (see all)

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

sliceofmylyfe

The chai is the best thing in the world, my hubby claims. I am not at tea drinker but I know for a fact that many people cannot start their day without their hot cup of chai. I love the write up about how different spices mean and taste different things to people.
Enjoy your chai and spare some of those yummy pakoras for me.

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Rosa's Yummy Yums

Mmmhhh, I'd love one of those now! It is sooooo cold outside.

A lovely collection of recipes!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Joanne

I love chai tea but I don't think I've ever had this particular spice blend. It sounds like something that would make my afternoon all the more delicious.

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Jay

wow…super yummy chai..
excellent captures..love your presentation..;)
lovely recipe …very tempting..
Tasty Appetite

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Aarthi

They look yummy

Aarthi
http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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Purabi Naha

I want to join for a cup of masala chai. The very sight of the chai is so comforting! Loved the chai cup as well!
http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

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backroadjournal

I love tea and would enjoy sharing a cup of your chai tea. It would be great fun sipping tea while we talk about our favorite recipes.

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Frugal in WV

I don't think I've ever had this type of tea, it looks like it would be great for the cold mornings we've had around here. As usual I love all your pictures :)

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Indie.Tea

We usually do our masala chai with a LARGE dose of ginger, cardamom, clove, pinch of pepper…very comforting :)

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escribble

Just simply love masala chai — perfect any day, well, except during scorching hot summer :D Have a great weekend, sweetie….

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

Reply

Helene Dsouza

@Anita thank u dear! yeah there r a lots of ppl who cant live without their chai. XD kept already aside for u! ;)

@Rosa thank u =) I am glad I am not in the cold! O.O but that chai would defenetly warm u up.

@Joanne oh then I am glad to have taught u something new. ;)

@Jay @Aarthi thank u both! =)

@Purabi u r always welcome! ah the cups r actualy from our restaurant. hihi

@Karen that sounds great, u r always welcome to join!

@FrugalinWV thats great, glad u learned something new and maybe useful to u in the future. ;)

@IndieTea In goa they dont even add ginger in most of the restaurants and shaks. they add cardamon and cinammon only. I think too much ginger takes away some of the other spices properties while drinking the chai. as I mentioned above, everyone experiences spices differently. and this spice blend is suitable for everybody ( I made that sure!).

@Kiran I had heard somewhere in austria once that ladies from the fine houses would drink their hot coffee when the weather is hot because it would give them a soft lovely skin and the weather wouldnt be that hot anymore after drinking something hotter. the question is if it is true and if yes if one can apply that rule with chai too. have a nice weekend Kiran! =)

Reply

Nami | Just One Cookbook

Did you see my comment that I sent out? I don't see my post and I didn't see any message after I hit publish… if it's not there I'll write again later. :-)

Reply

Nami | Just One Cookbook

Oh now I see my comment… okay my first comment didn't go through for some reason.

I wrote that I make chai every day twice, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. My neighbor Indian friend who became my very close mommy friend taught me how. It's almost same way as yours but she put sugar and cardamom together. It's so yummy and I got hooked on the first day I tried! Love your first picture!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

@Nami its realy tima that I moev from google before they try to close my blog again (freaks). I got many complaints from my readers saying they cant comment for some crazy reason.

Your comment was there yesterday Nami on top and now that u r saying it.. its for some reason gonne ( I dont delete comments!!)

sorry for the inconvinience nami and thank u soo much for taking the time and leaving your comments again.

my husband enjoys his chai with just cardamon and sugar too. he likes it more simple.

thanks and sorry again nami!
wish u a wonderful weekend!

Reply

Drinac @ Eaternal Zest

helene! i love the tea cups.. are they from goa? love the post and thanks for putting up my dip here :) glad you liked it. xx

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Hi Drina! yeah they r from goa. u get them in mapusa near navtara restaurant, if u know where that is. I am glad too u like it. XD see u around girl!

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Jessica

I LOVE chai, thanks for Sharing! 

Reply

Helene Dsouza

u r welcome XD

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Shuhan

omg, i love chai. and now i can make my own. it’s perfect for winter, and the smell of the spices are already enough to make you feel warm and cosy inside! this is my first time at your blog, and I’m really glad I dropped by and found the chai recipe (:

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Hi Shuhan! I agree I love the aroma of chai its so very comforting. hope to see u soon on my blog, u r always welcome! =)

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Natalie FoodAtick

This looks amazing but I have to compliment you on your food photography!  So beautiful!

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Nancy/SpicieFoodie

Your Chai looks beautiful and the post is brilliant. I am so glad that you explained the meaning of Chai and Masalas. So many people don’t understand it and use the word Chai incorrectly. Anyways, I agree with your spice discussion. My hubby and I also have some differences. 

Reply

Gomo | cHowDivine

It’s finally getting a bit cooler here. This chai would be so nice for those cooler nights. It looks so good!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

thank you Gomo! =)

Reply

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