For most of us, getting to sip on a hot cup of chai with our loved ones is the best perk of waking up early. The aroma of freshly brewed tea reaching your senses as you read the headlines is one of the most underrated pleasures of life. The only thing that’s better than chai is masala chai. It’s a spiced version of the Indian chai prepared with a blend of select spices that render it not only an enticing fragrance but also an exquisite taste. Masala chai is ideally had during winters. But it’s really hard to stop having it as summers arrive. However, just a pinch of it won’t hurt.
Today I am sharing the best ever chai masala recipe that I like to use throughout the year. I am so hooked onto its rich, deep flavors that it’s hard to let go. It can transform your mundane chai into a spectacular masala chai tea. This is one of the much-loved beverage recipes in my house and you will know why once you try it yourself. Also, some folks in the West call it masala chai latte. So it’s the same thing. If you like your masala chai frothy, just hold the pot higher from the cup while straining it.
Why Roast the Spices?
I have roasted the spices very gently over a low heat. It helps get rid of the moisture trapped in them, making them brittle. Hence, it becomes easier to grind the spices to a fine powder. Besides, roasting activates the oils in the spices and helps bring out a fuller flavor.
The Method of Making the Masala Chai Tea Recipe
When you go through the recipe, you will notice that I have boiled the milk and water together and have added rest of the ingredients to it. This method is so much better than preparing the masala chai concentrate wherein you would need more water to first brew the tea leaves with sugar, and chai masala. The milk is added later and you cannot simmer it for as long because your tea might turn bitter. Also, that method yields watery tea, unlike this one that gives you thick, milky tea.
How Much Tea and Sugar Should You Add?
The amount of tea and sugar depends on your preference. The strength of tea varies from one brand to another. Here, I have used Society Tea and I like my chai to be medium strong. So 1/2 tbsp of tea for 1 cup works for me. The same goes for sugar. Please adjust it as per your taste. The chai masala too can be added as little or as much as you like. I recommended that you do not add more than ¼ tsp per cup during summers.
How to Make Masala Chai
- Black peppercorns – 4 tbsp
- Mace – 6
- Cinnamon – 1-inch pieces, 8
- Dried ginger powder/saunth – 4 tbsp
- Cloves – 2 tbsp
- Nutmeg – 1
- Fennel seeds – 2 tbsp
- Black cardamom – 6
- Green cardamom – 4 tbsp
- Fullcream milk – 1 cup
- Water – ¼ cup
- Sugar – 1tbsp or to taste
- Tea – 1 tbsp or as needed
- Chai masala – ½ tsp
- Holy Basil – 10 leaves
- First of all, heat a pan and add green cardamoms, black cardamoms, mace, black peppercorns, and cloves to it. Roast on low flame for a minute while tossing constantly.
- Add fennel seeds and cinnamon sticks. Roast for another 2-3 minutes till the spices lose some moisture and become brittle. Be very careful so that the spices won’t get burnt.
- Let the spices cool off completely. In the meanwhile, grate the nutmeg.
- Finally, combine the roasted spices, dried ginger powder, and grated nutmeg in a grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
- Tea Masala is ready. Transfer it to an airtight container and store in a dry place.
- To make masala chai tea, combine full cream milk and water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add the tea leaves to get the desired strength and sugar to taste. Also, add the chai masala and let it simmer for a minute.
- Add the holy basil leaves and let it simmer for another 2 minutes. A layer of cream would begin to appear on top of the simmering tea. That’s how you know the tea is ready.
- Strain the masala chai into the cups or cutting chai glasses for a street side tea experience. Enjoy the masala chai hot with some classic Parle-G biscuits.
Indian Masala Chai Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below
First of all, lay the masala chai spices out on a plate – 4 tbsp black peppercorns, 6 pieces of mace, 8 pieces of 1-inch cinnamon sticks, 4 tbsp dried ginger powder/saunth, 2 tbsp cloves, 1 nutmeg, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 6 black cardamoms, and 4 tbsp green cardamoms.
Heat a pan and add green cardamoms, black cardamoms, mace, black peppercorns, and cloves to it. Roast on low flame for a minute while tossing constantly.
Add fennel seeds and cinnamon sticks. Roast for another 2-3 minutes till the spices lose some moisture and become brittle. Be very careful so that the spices won’t get burnt.
Let the spices cool off completely.
In the meanwhile, grate the nutmeg.
Finally, combine the roasted spices, dried ginger powder, and grated nutmeg in a grinder.
Grind to a fine powder.
Tea Masala is ready. Transfer it to an airtight container and store in a dry place.
To make masala chai tea, combine 1 cup full cream milk and ¼ cup water in a pot.Keep sugar, tea and tea masala handy.
Bring the milk and water mixture to a boil. Add 1 tbsp tea leaves or as needed to get the desired strength.Add sugar, 1 tbsp or to taste. Also, add ½ tsp chai ka masala and let it simmer for a minute.
Add 10 holy basil leaves and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
A layer of cream would begin to appear on top of the simmering tea. That’s how you know the tea is ready.
Strain the masala chai into the cups or cutting chai glasses for a street side tea experience.
Enjoy the masala chai hot with some classic Parle-G biscuits.