So much can happen over a cup of chai, especially the Indian Masala Chai In Calcutta, the evening adda will be incomplete without chai. Discussions about politics and football at the corners of the lanes and by lanes in the city wouldn’t even start without a cup of chai in the hand. And at my home, any morning will never be a ‘good’ morning unless we have sipped the bed tea. Honestly, I simply cannot start functioning until I have had my dose of ‘kadak chai’. This ordinary humble beverage in India, is almost indispensable for many.
If I can recollect correctly, I started drinking tea when I was in the 11th standard. Before that, my mother plainly did not allow me. My father loved tea and would order the finest tea through his friends working for the Tea Board of India. He used to tell me to wait a little longer and then I would be joining him for his morning tea. I so looked forward to that. My fixation on tea started since then, I suppose.
Dad loved leaf tea. The long expensive ones that needed delicate brewing. I love it strong with masala which is made with loose black tea. So mum took the pain of making both the kinds. It’s going to be a mind-boggling and spectacular research if you want to study the range of tea that’s available all over the world. I stay away from it. I like simple things.
Coming back to my favourite masala chai, let me tell you how easy and simple it will be to grind all those aromatic spices together and store it. A google search for chai masala will reveal countless versions. They all are mostly similar. They all eventually will give your tea a favourable aromatic punch. It’s simply a matter of choice which spices you use and which ones you omit.
Masala Chai or Indian Spiced Tea with Milk is nothing but, simple tea brewed with Indian spices. The simplest way to make a cup of masala chai would be to brew loose black tea with milk and just ginger and green cardamom. It’s totally a matter of personal preference how one likes the tea. I like it with a whole lot of spices, therefore keep this powder ready at home.
This powder can be easily stored in an air tight container for about 6 months. The amount of ingredients I have mentioned here will yield about a cup or a little more. So, for me, that suffices for a long time.
- To Grind:
- Cinnamon Sticks 1/4 cup, broken into small pieces
- Cloves 20-25 nos.
- Black Peppercorns 1/4 cup
- Green Cardamoms 15 nos.
- Black Cardamoms 5 nos.
- Dried Ginger Powder 1/4 cup
- Mace 6-8 nos.
- Nutmeg 1/2, grated
- Star Anise 2 nos.
- To make the Chai (4 cups):
- Water 4 cups
- Loose Black tea 4 tsp.
- Milk 1 cup
- Sugar 8 tsp. or as per taste
- Fresh Ginger Root 1 inch piece, pounded lightly
- Chai Masala 1 tsp.
- Dry roast cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, green cardamoms, and black cardamom for a few minutes. Let it cool completely.
- Next, add mace, nutmeg, star anise and dry ginger powder. Grind into a fine powder. Sieve and again grind it. Remove and store in an air tight container.
- To make chai: Boil water, tea, ginger and chai masala together. Once it boils, reduce heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes or longer if your want it stronger. Increase the heat and let it boil once gain. Reduce heat before it overflows and simmer for another 2 minutes. Finally, give it one more boil and turn of the heat.
- Lastly, strain the tea into cups and add sugar. Stir well till it completely dissolves. Enjoy your Masala Chai.