Masala Chai

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Masala chai is one of the few Indian foods I have enjoyed from early on. It's the only Indian "dessert" that I actually really like. In Jakarta, we'd go to Grandma's place and when M&D would have the chai, the five of us would occasionally have a few sips from them. More recently, though, we'd visit Uncle NM, and his mother, Auntie Sheila, would make chai for us. It was great, being able to drink really good chai quite often. However, we'd never been able to have it in Florida.

But now it's a whole different story. Since we've moved to BC—where it's practically a mini Asia, with the Eastern Asians in Richmond and the South Asians in Surrey—we'd been going to the gurduwara a lot and having chai when it was there. Soon enough, Mother could make it as well. Then we all came to love Mother's a lot more as the gurduwara's chai seemed to lack the great boost of flavour she would make it with.

Since Mother knew that I actually really liked chai, she taught me how to make it.

So I suppose this is the part where I cut out all my rambling and tell you her recipe for masala chai.

4 cups water
4 cups milk
2 tbsp tea
12 cardamoms
1 heaping tbs cinnamon
6 cloves
2 dashes ginger powder
1 dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp fennel
1/2 cup sugar

However endless the list of ingredients seems to be, it's not that difficult to make.

You'll have to
1. start heating the water and milk in a saucepan, then
2. add in everything else in whatever order you like, which you can then
3. leave alone, though stirring occasionally, if only to not stick the sides of the pan, but remember to
4. open up the cardamoms when the chai is boiling, and usually
5. put the sugar last, although it's okay to
6. add more of the spices, according to your taste.

If you managed to do everything mentioned in that huge run-on sentence, it's done and most probably really tasty. You'll just have to, y'know, strain it so you don't choke on a clove or gag when you accidentally bite into a cardamom. Cool it a bit though, so you won't burn your tongue with the scalded chai. Then, you're free to have all the flavourful and energizing chai you want, provided you make it again and again.

June 2015 Update: You can now purchase our chai masala blend at Fuel with Flavour.

You Might Also Like