Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Masala Chai (Spicy Tea)

With winter storm dumping the snow, my brain needed some masala tea. Vijay, my dear husband, makes the best tea and he changes tea flavoring with seasons. For the past week, he is making tea with Indian cinnamon and cardamom.

Cardamom brings the sweet aroma. Whereas cinnamon takes it to another notch and gives the tea a peppery, earthy, bright yet slightly woodsy taste. Heady feeling is what I get from masala chai and I like it.

Tea Leaves, Indian Cinnamon Bark and Cardamom

Masala Chai:
(for two)

1 big glass of water
1 teaspoon of Tea powder
(Preferably, Premium Assam tea, available in most of the Indian grocery shops)
1/2 inch cinnamon bark and one cardamom pod seeds –powdered using pestle&mortar
Milk and sugar or honey to your taste

Pour water into a small pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add the tea leaves. Wait for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the cardamom-cinnamon powder and tiny amount (one tablespoon is plenty) of milk. Mix with a spoon. On medium heat, simmer it away until the color changes from milky white to light brown/tan colour for another five to ten minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and pour the masala tea into cups, using a tea strainer to discard the tea leaves etc., Stir in sugar or honey to your liking. Enjoy the hot masala chai.

Masala Tea and in the background, our lunch -Puris with Potato Curry
Hot Masala Tea and Pooris with Potato Curry – Warming up on a stormy, snowy day.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Caffeine,Chicory & Cocoa,Tea (Friday December 9, 2005 at 3:42 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

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19 comments for Masala Chai (Spicy Tea) »

  1. Wow Indira! Your puris and aloo are mouth-watering! My hubby loves Masala Tea; I’m more of a coffe person, so I often make it for him, esp. in this cold cold weather!

    I was actually going to post Masala Chai and Samosas as the entry to the Winter theme of “From my Rasoi”; be sure to have a look at my version when its posted!

    And congrats on the cookie contest. Those really looked tempting! :o)

    Comment by Meena — December 9, 2005 @ 4:30 pm

  2. Indira, the chai and puris are too tempting! Congratulations on winnning the cookie contest, you totally deserved it…those amazing ma’amoul…
    and by the way, I read that cookie-winning entry and said “why is indira congratulating me” and was puzzled for a few minutes till it dawned on me 🙂 Its VERY exciting to be on the winning list with you, I must say.

    Comment by Nupur — December 9, 2005 @ 5:25 pm

  3. Meena.. Thanks.
    Masala chai and samosa, that’s another good combination. Looking forward to your entry and I know you are going to do fabulous job with the roundup. Are you going to do any special drawings or graphics for this event, that would be so cool!

    Nupur.. I thought you knew about the win already. I should’ve informed you first before posting. I hope you liked this surprise and I am glad your entry won. Congratulations!

    Comment by Indira — December 9, 2005 @ 8:16 pm

  4. indra,
    Iam one of those lucky ones who got to see your maamoul recipe& fell in luv with it. I tried making it.
    Iam “cooking challenged”. So this question might sound dumb, but when I tried making the dough, it didnt set. Instead it had a crumb like consistency.My guess is that I used the wrong type of sooji or I used too much ghee.I used 1 cup ghee as per your recipe .Could u tell me what type of sooji u used?
    Your site is awesome.Very nutritious recipes.For a “hereditory carnivore” like me(we used to have atleast 3 nonveg items for any given meal at home) trying to be a healthy eater by including more vegetarian dishes, has been comparitively easy, thx to blogs like yours.

    Indira says..
    Hi Reema, thank you for your kind words about my recipes.
    I used fine semolina for Ma’amouls, but fine sooji(farina) should work too. The yeast should do the majic of bringing and holding the ingredients together. Adding the eggs(one or two) or some more maida might work, try like that. Hope this helps.

    Comment by reema — December 9, 2005 @ 9:25 pm

  5. Indira–Where do you get your cinnamon bark?

    Comment by LisaSD — December 9, 2005 @ 9:55 pm

  6. your pooris looks lovely with chai. I prefer tea than coffee. I make tea similar to yours, I add little ginger.

    Comment by Priya — December 9, 2005 @ 10:08 pm

  7. Thanks for this : ) I’ve only recently tried Chai tea – what a beautiful taste! And you’ve been tagged to list your 10 favourite foods.

    Indira says…
    Thanks for tagging me, Kimbie. I will post my answers soon.

    Comment by Kimbie — December 10, 2005 @ 5:50 am

  8. Kudos Indira! We are happy about your winning with Ma’amoul, so our vote did not go waste 🙂 Guess it is a celebration time over there. Enjoy!

    Indira says…
    Thank you VKN!

    Comment by VK Narayanan — December 10, 2005 @ 9:13 am

  9. That looks delicious…can we come over???

    Indira says…
    You are most welcome, Stephanie:)

    Comment by Stephanie — December 10, 2005 @ 11:51 am

  10. Mmm, I love a great cup of chai. I made it for the first time about 8 years ago and it was RED it was so strong. It literally made my heart race! hahahaha

    I do tend to make mine with a lot of milk (sometimes even 100%) as I love a nice, strong cup (not red anymore) of chai that is creamy and spicy.

    Chai mixes well with so many dishes. I am also a big fan of pakora and chai on a cold, winter day.

    Comment by Jenn — December 10, 2005 @ 1:55 pm

  11. Congratulations on the cookie contest! Woohoo!

    I do love chai masala. I don’t make it at home often enough, though. I probably should get into the habit of it.

    I think I drink too much coffee. Tea is a more gentle drink.

    Indira says…
    Barbara, thank you!
    We reduced our coffee consumption, drinking more tea nowadays. Tea is more soothing compared to coffee.

    Comment by Barbara — December 11, 2005 @ 11:30 am

  12. I have a tiny jar of chai mix (powder) but now it’s almost gone. But from now on, thanks to this recipe, I can make chai whenever I want. Thank you! 😀

    Indira says…
    Hi Obachan, Thanks for the comment.
    If you want, you can also add dried ginger powder and clove to the chai along with cardamom and cinnamon.

    Comment by obachan — December 14, 2005 @ 6:02 am

  13. My family migrated from Kutchh to Bombay/Mumbai maybe 100 years ago. Our recipe for masala chai includes cinnamon and cardamom, but we also add a few more ingredients. We usually make a batch of chai masala and store it in an airtight jar to last a couple of months. It makes that quick cup of tea a little quicker, which is convenient in the rainy or cold seasons when tea-drinking frequency rises. In equal proportions, grind together: cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, dried ginger, and cardamom. If you don’t want to pound the masala with a heavy brass or cast iron mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder works just great (best to have separate grinders for spices and coffee). If lemongrass/mint are in season, a couple of fresh stalks/leaves are added when the water is first set on the stove. If you like, you can also crush and add fresh ginger at this stage.

    Comment by Uma — April 17, 2006 @ 12:41 am

  14. Indira ji,

    Even though its not winter in Los Angeles, this post is enough to make me feel like have poori-bhaji and masala chai :).

    Perfect combination for all seasons :).

    Comment by musical — March 31, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  15. l ave work`d in an East Indian Resuraunt`s for over 20years and the masala tea we served is just the best l ave2ave a cup@least 3times a day l am not the one who makes the masala and they wont tell me what is in it so thank you for this site, is fennel really in the masala? please let me know becuz my boss wont even sell me any2bring home so l need to make my own l am so addicited2this tea that l drink it everyday GR8 TEA

    Comment by belinda mckeegan — May 27, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  16. Indira, I am having a very, very soar throat, n i really wish I could pick up the chai & drink it. It would give so much relief!!!

    Comment by Shella — October 25, 2007 @ 7:36 am

  17. […] This week I’ll go into unknown territory with one recipe by making Lamb Curry. I’ve been cooking a lot of French lately and am longing for something quite different, in region as well as meat. It seems reasonable to pair this with Moroccan Baby Carrots and coconut-flavored rice. Which is well and good that I’m going in this direction, because there’s a chai recipe that is also calling my name! (However, I might have to add that cooking a divine-tasting kheer is my ultimate cooking goal). […]

    Pingback by WANDERLUSTIG » Stocking a Kitchen and a New Direction? — March 5, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  18. spicy tea is a best choice of food value about anti oxidants.

    Comment by S.H SUMON — December 8, 2009 @ 4:35 am

  19. […] During the time that my Marc-sala chai post has been steeping in my drafts folder, I have seen a few other posts about masala chai that are worth checking out for other perspectives on masala chai indredients and techniques: Chai-Spiced Kulfi from Nupur, Masala Tea from Indira, and Kashmiri chai from Brett. […]

    Pingback by VRC: Most Requested Recipe - Masala Chai • Slices of Blue Sky — December 7, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

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