Chai is a traditional Indian drink that has become a familiar beverage in the U.S. Using several (healing) spices to create the classic cup of chai is not difficult, nor very time consuming, especially when you consider the delightful end result!
Making your own allows you to adjust the ingredients to suit your preferred flavors and dietary choices, plus it gives you a hand in your own healing and self-care.
To the recipe then!
TRADITIONAL INDIAN (MASALA) CHAI
4 cups strong black tea* (can be cool or cold)
1/2 tsp. crushed cardamom seeds
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1″ stick cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
1/8 tsp. ground ginger or 1 large slice of fresh root
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. fennel seed
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. freshly crushed black peppercorns
4 or 5 whole cloves
2 cups milk, whatever type. I’ve used almond and coconut/almond with great results
Simmer spices in the 2 cups milk over medium low heat for 20 minutes or longer to extract the spice flavors.
Add tea to spice & milk mixture, stir and heat together a few minutes.
Strain and serve with a hint of vanilla, if desired, and your choice of sweeter. Refrigerate any unused portion – if there’s any left!
Chai is great hot or chilled. The goodness comes through no matter what temperature it is enjoyed at.
*Assam is typical, but you can choose. If you wish to make it caffeine-free, Rooibos or roasted dandelion make good alternatives.