This is my second version of the “Masala Chai” as I was not satisfied with the feedback and would like to improve it. Firstly, I would like to explain the word “Chai”. In Hindi/Punjabi language “Chai” in English Language means “simply tea”. As a Chinese, I can attest that “Chai” comes from the original “Cha’h”. Many of my friends told me that they love “Chai” from Starbauk or other well-known coffee houses and they are willing to pay a high price to drink it.
I told them that the word “Chai” simply means “tea” and they look at me as if I do not know about “Chai”. I explained to them and now they understand that the commercial places have been fooling them while the people of India are laughing at them. So when you go to the coffee places and tell them you want “Masala Chai” (Spiced Tea) and not simply “Chai” and remember “Chai” means “Tea” when you are travelling in Asia.
There are many ways of making “chai” and each family has their own recipe. Some family prefers their tea to be very strong and some like them weak. If you prefer it strong you need more tea leaves and let it boils longer. Also experiment with the amount of spices to find a right flavor you like. So in the marketplaces the “Chai” is not as strong as many Indian families make their “Masala Chai”.
6 teabags of any brand you desires (I use Lipton Brand teabags)
3½ cups water
2½ cups whole/2% milk, lightly warm
3-4 cardamom pods,
4-5 whole cloves
1 2” long cinnamon stick
1 1” long fresh ginger, lightly crushed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2½ tablespoons raw sugar
Heat a pot with water, cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon stick and fresh ginger over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add teabags and simmer for another 5 minutes; add lightly warm milk
and raw sugar and stir till sugar dissolved. Bring to a boil again. Strain the “masala chai” into a warmed porcelain teapot or directly into teacups. The warm “masala chai” goes well with any savory sandwiches or sweet pastries. Enjoy!