A Perfect Cup Of Chai II

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I would run down the stairs at 5:00 each morning to indulge in chai with my grandfather (Dada) before he went off to work. My grandmother (Mum) would take a couple teaspoons from Dada’s chai, mix it in with a cup of hot milk and serve me as well. I felt so proud, like an adult. I had the biggest smile on my face, sitting next to the only man I adored so much, and watching him gulp his tea with Indian biscuits. It was a sacred ritual that only we were apart of every morning. Then, as he left for work, the TV turned on and I watched My Little Ponies and Care Bears. Life was great.

Twenty-two years have passed, and the memory of my grandparents will always live on with one hot, soothing cup of chai. Happy Birthday Dada.

Basic Masala Chai

Chai is highly personal and varies from household to household throughout India and elsewhere. This is the classic recipe I grew up on and has the basic “masala” mixture. You can use pre-ground spices or grind up your own spices using a coffee grinder or spice grinder. I prefer to use all organic, fair-trade ingredients. Whole milk gives the chai a richer, creamier taste. More tea leaves will increase the color, caffeine and strength of the chai. It’s important to add the sugar into the beginning to caramelize the sugar with the milk and other spices. You can always add more later if needed.

Serves 1
1 Tbsp. Assam tea
1 cinnamon stick, broken up into pieces
2 whole cloves, ground
1-2 peppercorns, ground
2 cardamom pods, ground
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp raw cane sugar, more or less for your taste
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped mint or ½ Tbsp dried mint (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 cup whole milk

Chai Spices

Grate fresh ginger

Boil all ingredients in water

Boil all ingredients in water

Add milk and let it come to a boil

Strain tea leaves and spices

Please compost!

Enjoy with tea biscuits

A Perfect Cup of Chai

1. Simmer water with all dry ingredients, except tea leaves, in a saucepan for two minutes on low heat.
2. Add the milk and give the saucepan a swirl.
3. Add tea leaves and and increase heat to high.
4. Remove from heat when chai reaches a boil.
5. Strain tea into a teacup and enjoy!


Follow-up to A Perfect Cup of Chai.

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12 thoughts on “A Perfect Cup Of Chai II

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  5. Yum! I loved tea when I was little too. I started drinking regular full caffeinated tea each day since I could drink real non bottle things! Maybe that’s why I never got into the whole coffee thing, I was tea indoctrined at too early an age. I use a loose tea chai mix from my tea place I order. Its masala chai and very good. However, I’ve been making it the american way, steeping the tea in the water in my cup, then adding milk, instead of making it on the stove the way you have here, which is the first way I learned to make/drink chai from my old best friend who was indian. I should go back to doing it the right way!

    • Adding milk afterwards never tastes good to me, since I grew up drinking chai brewed in milk.Making chai is fun, but definitely not as fast as steeping a tea bag in hot water.

  6. Pingback: Essential Spices in Indian Cooking and Their Benefits | Club Dine In!

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