The Indian Masala Chai Tea is prepared with spices, milk and tea leaves.
I show you in my video how to make your own spiced milk tea with my real Indian chai recipe from scratch. Also, you can choose to prepare your Indian tea with whole spices or with a spice blend.
What warms you up when cold winds and weather threaten your comfort? A good cup of hot tea.
In Europe, we love out black or green tea. In India, people enjoy tea and not just any tea, the Indian masala chai.
What is Masala Chai Tea?
Masala Chai is a spiced milk tea from India.
Masala means “a blend of spices” and chai means tea.
In the west, people tend to say Masala chai tea, which is actually wrong. It would mean that you simply repeat the word tea two times, Masala tea tea (which sounds totally ridiculous to an Indian).
But so that we understand each other better, I will continue to call it chai tea in this post.
Types of Indian Chai Tea
In India, you have mainly 3 types of Chais.
Chai – prepared with just black tea leaves, milk, water, sugar and sometimes one or two spices. Variations exist all over the country and even outside the Indian subcontinent. Indian migrants in Dubai, for example, have a chai variation made with cardamom called Karak tea.
Masala Chai – prepared with the same regular chai ingredients but a whole set of spices is added to infuse the chai with flavors. Many fold variations exist and all spiced Indian milk tea can be called authentic chai tea recipes (not set in stone and depends on region, status etc).
Black Tea – just black tea, water, and sugar. No milk is added here. If you want to order tea without milk in India, you order black tea or black chai or kali chai.
Of course, there are countless regional chai variations, the most well known are the pink Kashmiri chai and the Kerala chai.
Masala Chai Ingredients
A real Masala Chai is always prepared with whole spices because the flavors will be more intense.
However, I’m not narrow-minded. You can skip all the spices in the recipe below and switch them with my masala chai spice mix.
I don’t recommend you use masala chai tea bags, those tend to be tasteless.
My BASIC masala tea recipe includes whole spices:
- Black Tea powder such as Assam tea or Darjeeling teas
- Cinnamon Stick
- Green Cardamom
- Star Anise
- Black Pepper
I skip the sugar (yep!), but in India, they add tons of sugar! How much you add is up to you. You can try adding brown sugar to your Indian tea recipe.
Masala Chai variations
You can also add the following spices to your masala chai to customize it to your liking.
ADVANCED Indian Masala Tea – add small quantities of one (or a combination) of these spices to the basic recipe:
- Fennel Seeds
- Pink Pepper
- White Pepper
- Dried or fresh Ginger
- Vanilla Paste
- Red Chili Pepper
- Allspice berries
How to make masala chai?
For a homemade chai tea, you will need loose tea in leave form or granulated ground powder. Do not use tea bags!
Step 1 – Basically, the tea with the spices is brought to a boil with the spices.
Step 2 – The chai tea with milk is then left to infuse so that the flavors come to be!
Step 3 – The loose tea and chai tea spices are strained and discarded
Step 4 – Your Indian spiced tea, Masala Chai, is ready. Mix in sugar and serve a cup of chai tea hot.
More Milk Tea related reads!
Ever been to a tea garden plantation? I visited Munnar in South India and had tea in the clouds!
Indian Masala Chai Recipe
How to Video
- Heat up a pot and pour in water and milk.
- Add the black tea and all the spices including green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and black pepper.
- Mix everything in and bring to a boil.
- Take from heat and allow the tea and spices to infuse into the India milk tea.
- Strain and discard the tea leave pieces and spices.
- Briefly, heat up again the tea and serve the masala chai hot in cups with sugar.
- Use loose black tea leaves, never tea bags! Loose black tea leaves or granules are more intense in flavor and higher in quality.
- You can skip all the whole spices in this recipe and switch them with my homemade chai spice blend.
- You can add sugar, you don't have to.
Dear Reader, have you tried an advanced flavor variation of the basic chai recipe?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section further below!