Masala Chai

dsc_1642RECIPE #379, DAY #544


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Spiced Tea”/”Masala Chai,” from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking*

TIMING: 20 minutes


TOOLS: A soup pot and a strainer

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: There is sugar and milk in here, but not a ton. The spice and tea definitely have some healthful properties.
dsc_1641EXPERIENCE: Despite being a huge tea fan, I am not a chai fan. Probably because of the sugar, which I usually do without. But I knew that chai was such an integral part of the Indian experience, I wanted to make sure I served it at the end of my Indian supper club meal. After making this fresher version of the powdered chai I had every few hours while in India, I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a chai I would gladly sip all winter long.

NOTES: I found these measurements to be exact and perfect. I wouldn’t mess with them.


  1. In a soup pot, bring 6 cups water and 1/3 cup milk to a boil. Add 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 stick cinnamon, 6 green cardamom pods, 4 cloves, and 12 black peppercorns. Stir, remove from heat, cover, and let steep 10 minutes.
  2. Bring back to a boil, reduce to simmer, and add 9 Orange Pekoe tea bags and 1 mint tea bag. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Strain, taste for sugar and milk, and serve hot.


Serve after an Indian meal or at tea time. It belongs with a rice pudding or with just a chilly, damp, mountainous Indian day.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Although Indians make it “fresh” 3 times per day, this keeps great in the fridge for a few days. I just reheat a cup on the stove when I need some warming.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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