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Homemade Indian Chai

By Zim Ugochukwu

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It was nearing the end of my year long voyage in India and I hadn’t yet conquered the art of making masala chai. While crashing at the home of friends, they began the very intricate process of teaching me to make what is, in my opinion, the most heartwarming drink on the planet.

There are two recipes below. The first one is for ready made masala chai, to which you just add your spices to black tea, and the other is a recipe for fresh made masala chai.

Ingredients for Making Masala Chai Powder:

Elaichi (Cardamom) Seeds- 2.5 tbsp
Dry Ginger Powder – 5 tbsp
Whole Black Pepper – 4 tbsp
Cloves Powder – 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Powder- 1 tsp
Nutmeg – 3/4 tsp

Store in a clean glass jar and use about 1/4 of a tbsp per cup of chai (to taste).

The above is great for those on the go; I love making my chai fresh. Below is the recipe that I use for a full pot of tea (enough for 4 people):


4 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
3 cups water
1 knob fresh ginger (smashed)
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cups whole or 2% milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons loose black tea (decaf is best)

Bring the milk, water and ginger to a boil (about 5 minutes)

Add the black tea, remaining spices and sugar and bring the pot down to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes to let spices marinate.

Use a strainer to catch the loose tea and spices.

Voila! You have a homemade pot of Indian chai. As chai is typically consumed in tiny teacups, sit back, relax and enjoy!

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Zim Ugochukwu

Zim is an avid photographer, visual storyteller, classically trained pianist, junk foodie, vegetarian, and occasional building climber. She is the founder & CEO of Travel Noire.

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