It is no secret that I love my cup of masala chai. I prefer the home-made version, made with my own hands. Making the tea every morning and evening is almost like a religious ceremony for me – the measurements have to be just perfect to get that perfect cup of chai. With a well-made cup of masala chai and no interruptions, I can attain that state of almost-nirvana. 🙂
In this post, I am going to tell you how I go about making my chai masala and how I then use it to make tea. Now, there are innumerable things you can add to chai masala – from rose petals and lemongrass to tulsi and cinnamon – but what I am going to talk about here is a very, very basic version. I personally don’t like too many ingredients in my chai masala, and hence, strip them down to the bare minimum. You can build upon this ‘cheat’s version’ of chai masala, add the ingredients you want to this, if you must.
Method for the ‘cheat’s version’ of chai masala
Ingredients (yields enough to make 15-20 cups of tea):
- 1/3 cup black peppercorns (kali mirch)
- 3/4 tablespoon cloves (laung)
- 1/8 cup whole cardamom (elaichi)
1. Grind everything together into a fine powder, using the mixer. There’s no need to peel the cardamom – grind them whole, with the peel.
2. Store at room temperature in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Use as needed, with a clean, dry spoon.
How to make masala chai/tea:
I prefer my tea with whole milk, with very little water added to it. You could keep the milk:water ratio at 50:50 or the way you prefer. Similarly, feel free to vary the quantity of sugar and chai masala that you use, depending upon your personal taste preferences. Full-fat milk yields the best masala chai, as per me, but feel free to use the kind of milk that suits you.
Ingredients (for 2 cups of tea):
- 2 cups full-fat milk (either boiled or straight out of the packet)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons good-quality tea powder (I use Wagh Bakri or Red Label)
- About 1-1/2 teaspoon chai masala (made as per above recipe)
- Mix the milk and water together in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Place it over high flame.
- Add in the sugar, tea powder, and chai masala. Mix well.
- Allow the tea to come to a boil, and then turn flame down to low. Let cook on low flame for 2 more minutes, or till the tea turns darker in colour. You will need to stir intermittently, to ensure that the tea doesn’t spill over.
- When the colour of the tea is dark enough to your satisfaction, switch off gas. Strain the tea, and dispose of the residue. Serve tea piping hot.
Do try out my version of quick chai masala and masala tea! Here’s hoping you will love them as much as I do!