Last year, I travelled through Northern India. At almost each corner, there is a booth offering chai (= tea). Apart from regular black tea, there is this very very delicious masala tea, i.e. tea with spices, milk & sugar.

In a town at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains, the owner of the small B&B where we stayed offered me a glimpse into his kitchen. This is where I learnt how to make this masala chai.

Step 1: Ingredients & tools

The typical tea glasses in Northern India are rather small, containing approx 0.5 cups of tea.

This recipe is more making two of these glasses.  If you have bigger glasses, you should increase the amount of ingredients accordingly.


1.5 cups of milk (during the cooking you will loose a third of your milk); I'll use 1.5% fat; Indian milk has more fat (6-8%), but they mix with water for making tea; so 1.5% fat should be ok.

1 tea spoon black tea (any black tea will do, e.g. broken Darjeeling)

3 pieces of cinnamon bark

2 inches of fresh ginger

2 capsules of green cardamom

2 cloves

1 table spoon of sugar (adjust the amount to your taste)


a knife

a pot & a spoon

a small strainer

2 tea glasses (for 0.5 cups content)

milk should be added at last when all flavor get dissolved in water
<p>Thanks, I never thaught about that; but I definitely will try next time I make this tea. (However, in Himachal Pradesh they taught me to add the milk right from the beginning.)</p>
<p>Just tried this! However used 2% fat milk and 1 inch ginger; added sugar after cooking so I only used like about 1 teaspoon sugar. It's very fragrant and I can't wait to try this one out more perhaps with some crushed peppercorns next time as well :)</p>
<p>Just made this. Very good and not like the overly sweet commercial varieties. I did forget to put the sugar in when cooking but I did add Anise seed and used whole milk. I wonder if Blackstrap Molasses would be a good sweetener?</p>
Thank you! Never tried to use Blackstrap Molasses; but sounds quite delicious. I think I'll give it a try myself ;-)
Very good! Tastes straight out the stall.
How much water?
<p>When I use UHT milk with 1.5% fat, I do not use any water at all. In India, I learned to use 2/3 milk with 6-8% fat and 1/3 water; but here in Germany I do not easily get milk with such a high content of fat. </p>
<p>Spot on chai - can't go wrong with this recipe.</p><p>Although I'm surprised there's no black peppercorns (for your measurements) 10 or so would be the norm (often used for cooler times or for ayurvedic heat or of course if you like the flavour.)</p><p>May I suggest you add a splosh (its bigger than a splash :) ) of single cream to emulate the high cream content milk used, oh and can I suggest you use unrefined sugar :P (white sugar yuk yuk, poison).</p><p>Although I was told honey is often used, unrefined sugar was preferred by the families I/we met. I can only assume white sugar is more convenient for many wallers and cafes.</p><p>Anyway the additions are about as close as I can get to what I (fell in love with) drank gallons of whilst living in nepal/india.</p><p>Occasionally I drank tea that included star anise. I found a single star anise &amp; 2 bay leaves per litre (about a quarter star for your measurements) add an extra something if you like that element.</p><p>I'm drinking 1 now but have run out of cinnamon quills, it tastes all wrong :/ so I'm logging into amazon. I found a wholesalers called Jalpur who are far cheaper than my local supermarkets (nothing super about them) :D</p>
Thanks a lot for your comments. <br><br>The recipe comes dirctly from the host of our B+B in Manali, who was a great cook. He had his own philosophy about cooking, like never combining bread with rice, etc. Maybe this is the reason why he did not use any pepper in the chai and even rinsed the very creamy milk with water. But - as youwrite - many chais you get in India are made with much creamiger milk &amp; pepper. <br><br>I never tried ro make the chai with honey; nor did use bay leaves yet. But it sounds delicious and I will try it right away.<br> <br>However, I completely agree to using unrefined sugar! <br>

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