Masala Chai

Many Indian families have their own secret spice blend for masala chai. A colleague has packages sent over from family in Kenya. This an adaptation of Dishoom’s masala chai recipe which uses ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper. The fabulous Sanjana Feasts also puts dried rose petals, mace and nutmeg in hers and adds that other blends contain fennel seeds, star anise and white peppercorns.

I first made this when I was having a rough morning. I’d slept very poorly the night before and it perked me right up; it’s sweet and comforting. You can make it with tea bags or loose leaf tea; I have lots of loose leaf tea in the cupboard that I’m trying to use up.

Masala chai can be made with equal parts of semi-skimmed milk and water but I’ve made it with oat milk as I like how creamy it is. If making it with whole dairy milk, use two parts water and one part milk – 265ml milk and 530ml water .

Makes two mugs’ worth

500ml water

300ml ‘full fat’ oat milk

1 tablespoon loose leaf tea or two teabags

two pinches of ginger powder or six slices of fresh root ginger

3 cloves

a cinnamon stick

12 cardamom pods

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 tablespoons of sugar

  1. Add the cold water, tea and spices to a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a low heat. Depending on how strong you like your tea, you can remove the second teabag at this stage.
  2. Add the milk and bring the tea back up to a gentle boil. You can add the sugar to the saucepan, or allow people to add their own – traditionally masala chai is served very sweet. Strain through a tea strainer into the mugs. I don’t normally bother re-using the spices or tea leaves but you can reuse the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods if you like.