Wednesday, February 24, 2010

'Tea Tea'

I feel a tad cranky tonight, so all my American friends and family, please indulge my crotchetiness and let me set the record straight—there is nothing in this world called “Chai Tea!!!” No, it’s not me being picky, it’s a linguistic fact. 

Chai is the Hindi word for tea. So when you say Chai Tea, you are asking for Tea Tea! What you really should be saying is Masala Chai, i.e.: Spice Tea.

Masala Chai is made by boiling black tea in milk and water with a lot of sugar and a few whole spices. It’s very easy to make. You don’t need a powder mix from a box and you certainly don’t need to head to Starbucks.

Yield: 1 cup 
½ cup water
½ cup milk (whole, low fat, skim, any of it is fine but definitely milk and not soy milk!)
1 tsp black tea leaves (any full-bodied black like an Assam will do. Don’t use anything expensive.)
sugar (to taste)
3-4 cloves
3-4 cardamom pods
1-2 sticks cinnamon
  •  Mix the milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  • Add the tea, sugar and spices and let simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat and let steep for another 5 minutes. 
  • Pour the liquid into a teacup using a strainer to remove the tealeaves and spices. 
You can use any combination of spices you like. I sometimes throw in a whole nutmeg, few black peppercorns, ginger or star anise. And when I’m feeling really indulgent, I garnish the teacup with a few strands of saffron.


  1. I agree! It is so annoying when people here want chai tea!

  2. This is too funny. Thanks for the recipe.




© Copyright 2012 Shubhani Sarkar