Once you taste real Indian spiced Chai, it's hard to drink the other versions of it. The stuff that's sold at chain coffee shops tastes nice and sweet but lacks the depth of flavor and spices of the real stuff. I first had Chai in small town in northern Thailand - made by an Indian Thai woman. It was spicy and soothing and a bit sweet - it was unforgettable! I hope you enjoy this version. There are so many ways to make Chai and this is a recipe you can use to modify and create your favorite blend.
Step 1: Preparing the Spices for Chai
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (or you can use ground ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black peppercorns (or substitute with black pepper)
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- *optional: small piece of a vanilla bean
- 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar (or white sugar)
- 2 tablespoons of black tea
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of whole milk (you can substitute with other kinds of milk - but whole tastes best)
Step 2: Measure and Prepare for Chai
Take out your ingredients. If you have a mortar and pestle you can take it out and put your cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, vanilla (optional) and star anise in it and bruise them or break them up a bit to release some flavor. You could also put them in a bag and pound them with a meat tenderizer or whatever you have on hand.
Then, in in small pot bring the water and the pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and star anise to a boil.
Step 3: Finishing It Up
Once that boils, then remove it from the heat and cover it. Let is steep for 5-8 minutes.
Then add the milk and sugar and return the pot to the heat and bring it back to a boil again. Once boiling, remove from the heat and turn the burner off. Now you can add the tea and let it steep for a few minutes.
Once done, you pour it all through a sieve and your tea is done! I hope you enjoy this wonderful spicy Indian Chai.