Introduction: Masala Chai - Indian Spice Tea (authentic Recipe From the Himalayas)

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)

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

Open the cardamom (we'll use both parts: the shell & the seeds).

Break the cinnamon into small pieces.

Peel & chop the ginger.

Step 3: Cook

Put all ingredients into a pot and put it on a stove with medium to high heat.

Let the tea come to a boil and then let it boil for 2 minutes.

When it starts to boil over, remove it from the heat for a couple of seconds.
The tea should rise and fall several times. By this means it becomes a bit creamy.

You'll notice that a noticeable amount of liquid will boil away, this is why you have to take approx. a third more milk than fits into your glasses.

Step 4: Strain

Strain the tea into the glasses & enjoy.