Indian Spiced Tea aka CHAI is the most popular drink in India. There are many different ways of preparing CHAI but basically it is tea with milk. In addition, you can customize it by adding your favorite spices like cardamom, cloves, ginger, star anise and many others of your choice. I am not an expert in making CHAI since I didn’t grow up around Indian culture but I learned by reviewing different recipes and experimenting with different flavors. Recently, I came across very nice recipe for CHAI MASALA from Indian Khana. Check out this cool website when you get a chance 🙂
To be honest, I am not a big tea drinker. I prefer coffee. However, during my recent trip to India I was unable to find regular coffee beans. All I could see in the local grocery stores was INSTANT COFFEE 😦 In few stores I found grounded coffee beans but they were mixed with chicory. I had no idea that coffee like that existed. After doing some research I found out that in India people like to mix coffee with chicory so it lowers the caffeine level and makes it taste less intense.
Only few days before I was about to leave India I suddenly found REAL COFFEE BEANS 🙂 We were in the car when I saw a guy on the street with a huge weighing machine and many different kinds of tea. I asked to stop so I can see if he also sells coffee beans. I was SO EXCITED when he showed me the REAL coffee 🙂 I bought 2 pounds for approximately $5 🙂
So have you ever wondered why is tea so popular in India?
India used to be a British colony and British are the once who encouraged buying and drinking tea. They did it to promote the tea industry which was owned by them and to increase their profits.
During my recent visit to India I enjoyed a cup of chai every day with my father in law 🙂 It was our daily afternoon ritual 🙂 Thanks to him I learned how to correctly prepare the Indian Chai.
There are many different spices that can be added to Indian tea. The base for every tea are real black tea leaves and milk. I learned that in India milk comes from buffalo. India is the largest producer as well as a consumer of a buffalo milk. That gives the tea the unique flavor.
In addition you can add different spices to your tea. You can add them whole or grounded. The spice mix for tea is called CHAI MASALA.
My favorite CHAI MASALA consists of:
- star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 5 cloves
- 1/3 star anise
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 4 tsp. sugar (or to taste)
- 4 tsp. tea
- Boil the water with the tea on the stove. Add all the spices besides the nutmeg. Boil the tea with the spices for 3-4 minutes
- In a separate pot warm up the milk
- Once the tea has boiled for 3-4 minutes add sugar and nutmeg. Strain the tea and pour half way into the cups.
- Fill up the cup with hot milk