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Two Masala Chai Recipes: Concentrate and Dry Mix

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I love to make a pot of masala chai in the morning and allow the smell to infuse my home throughout the entire day.

winter-chai-recipe

What Is Masala Chai?

The word “chai” originally hails from India and is the Hindi word for tea.

Traditional chai is a mix of black tea, hot milk, and sugar. It is consumed nearly everywhere in India and in neighboring countries.

To most of us in North America and Europe, we understand and interact with chai differently, as the Western version of chai usually signifies a specific aromatic, spicy tea that is more accurately referred to as masala chai. Like traditional chai, masala chai combines black tea, milk (or milk alternative) and sweetener, but it also includes some signature spices (most notably cardamom and/or cinnamon).

I love to make a pot of masala chai in the morning and allow the smell to infuse my home throughout the entire day.

How to Make Masala Chai

There are a number of ways to make masala chai, ranging from simple tea plus sugar combinations to more elaborate spice mixtures. I have included two recipes here: one that brews a masala chai concentrate and the other creates a powder mixture.

Both recipes include spices, roots, seeds, and anti-viral cloves that heat the body, warming you to your toes and working with your body as a natural vaccine against colds and the flu (learn more about health benefits of chai below!).

Two Chai Preparations

  1. Liquid concentrate: You can store this in the fridge and then mix with water, milk, or milk alternative and heat (or enjoy cold). This recipe is more traditional because it includes cardamom.
  2. Dry herbal mixture: When ready to enjoy, simply steep using a tea infuser or basket, mix with water, milk, or milk alternative, and enjoy! This recipe is less traditional (no cardamom) and includes a special secret ingredient that really makes its flavor sing.

If you don't have these spices lying around your house; most likely you can find all of them, if not all, at your local grocery store or natural food store. Check the bulk section for cheaper prices. If you can't find the spices in your area, you can easily find them online, as well.

winter-chai-recipe

1. Masala Chai Concentrate

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 1 vanilla bean (sliced)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 black tea bags (I recommend PG Tips, but any brand will do).

Instructions

  1. Add water and spices to a pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add tea bags and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove tea bags, strain out spices, and store in a glass jar or other container.
  5. When ready to serve, mix with equal parts water, milk, or alternative milk, heat and enjoy.

Notes

  • There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the amount of spices. Experiment and see what flavors and aromas stand out to you and make you feel fantastic—making chai is about exploring what you like.
  • If you don't have whole spices, it is fine to substitute ground spices. McCormick has a great online table to help with any conversions you may need.
  • You can also change up the sweetener—try maple syrup, honey, or literally any other sugar alternative. Or, if you're looking for the healthiest version, omit the sweetener altogether. You can add sweetener to individual cups later if you so choose.
winter-chai-recipe

2. Masala Chai Dry Mix

You will need an airtight one-liter jar or other food-grade container to store this mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cinnamon sticks, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup powdered ginger root
  • 1/2 cup anise flowers
  • 1/2 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried rose petals
  • 1 cup black tea leaves

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients well in a bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Store the mix in an airtight jar or food-grade container.

Note

  • I provided a link to dried rose petals, but you may also be able to find this ingredeint at your local herb shop or tea section at the grocery store.

How to Prepare Masala Chai Tea (Using Dry Mix)

  1. Fill tea infuser, basket, or bag with a spoonful of chai mixture.
  2. Place in kettle, pot, or cup of freshly boiled water.
  3. Steep for 5-10 minutes and allow the sweet, comforting aroma fill your senses.
  4. To sweeten, add honey or any natural sweetener.
  5. If desired, add vegetable or nut milk (no cow's milk!).
winter-chai-recipe

Health Benefits of Chai

Many of chai's ingredients, from the tea to the spices to the roots, have been shown to offer a host of benefits.

  • Cinnamon and black tea can lower blood pressure. See studies on cinnamon and black tea.
  • Cinnamon and black tea reduce risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, like reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. See studies on cinnamon and black tea.
  • Ginger, another ingredient in chai, is known to be a fantastic way to fight against nausea. See study on ginger.
  • Black Pepper, cloves, and cardamom have antibacterial properties that appear to help prevent digestive issues caused by bacterial infections. See study on clove. See studies on black pepper and cardamom.

To keep your chai as healthful as possible, use whole spices whenever possible, fresh ginger, and reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener you use.

Enjoy these fragrant concoctions and have a healthy, sweet, and warm winter.

Comments

Sofy on June 12, 2020:

Could you give the quantities in weight , especially dry ingredient to measure is very inconsistent

Colwynn (author) on January 31, 2020:

Thanks for checking it out! There are so many different variations of Chai, I hope that you do find one you like.

Do you know what flavor you don't like? The cardomom, cinnamon, ginger (or maybe all 3)? If you can pinpoint it, you can always try just leaving out the thing that doesn't agree with you.

Stay warm!

Liza from USA on January 09, 2020:

I'm not a big fan of Chai but, this recipe sounds interesting. I love how you used some essential spices in the drink. I used these spices a lot in my cooking. I agreed this Masala Chai would be a perfect companion during winter. Thank you for sharing the recipe.