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If you are like a lot of Indians in the United States, then chai is a cultural favorite in your home. Whether it’s a daily ritual or only when special guests are over, chai is almost always served. In Indian culture, the hot and creamy beverage is a simple and ubiquitous part of life. Also Read - How to Lose Weight by Eating Cheese; We Are Not Kidding!
When offered, it is a sign of hospitality and comfort. When drank daily, its warming and soothing effects serve as a pick-me-up and a healthy alternative to coffee. And when adding a blend of healing spices, it can aid in digestion, build immunity, and fight coughs and colds. Also Read - These Food Items Can Bring Back Lost Sense of Smell And Taste Due to COVID-19
One of the beauties of India is that most regions have their own language, style and food. Masala chai, which is a spicy and soothing concoction of the traditional black tea beverage, is also made differently throughout the country, with some omitting ginger and some using more or fewer spices than others. Unlike the “chai tea” you’ll find at Starbucks or masala tea bags found in supermarkets, homemade chai is much more delicious, fresh, and super easy to make!
The concept of masala chai—and chai in general—is simple: just boil loose tea and milk. Adding spices to the brew delivers an extra rich and aromatic flavor. Similar to garam masala, a “hot” blend of ground spices used in dishes, the masala for chai typically consists of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and ginger. You can experiment and adjust the ratio because chai is best made to your taste!
Masala Chai Recipe
- saucepan (preferably with a spout)
- 1 cup water
- 1 inch freshly grated ginger
- 2 cardamom pods, smashed or ground
- 1/2 cinnamon stick, broken in pieces
- 2 cloves, whole
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
- 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
- 4 teaspoons sugar
In a small saucepan, bring water, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper to a full boil. Stir and add loose black tea. Cover and bring to a full boil again. Lower to a medium heat, remove cover, add milk and let boil once again for at least 3 minutes (if you’d like it stronger, boil for another 2-3 minutes and make sure to stir in between). Turn off heat, stir chai, and let steep for another minute. Strain chai carefully into cups to catch loose tea and spices. Add sugar, serve, and sip!