“…I believe that the best way to experience masala chai is to have it made the long way – brewed from scratch with tea leaves/leaf tea along with the whole spices that bloom and flavour the tea. High quality tea bags are not a bad substitute for this particular tea but nothing quite beats making the tea with leaf tea.” – Cynthia Nelson, Tastes Like Home
- 2 cups tap water
- 5–6 tsp. tea leaves/leaf tea
- 8–10 green cardamom pods slightly crushed to reveal their seeds
- 1 large star anise or 2 small ones
- 1 2 or 3-inch piece of whole cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp. whole black pepper corns
- 4–6 slices fresh root ginger peeled
- Sugar to taste
- 2 cups whole milk
Add the water and all of the spices to a medium sized pot, cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes only.
Sweeten with sugar to taste then add the milk. Stir, cover and bring to a boil, when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
Strain using a sieve and serve hot.
As a substitute use your favourite strong black teabag. For the recipe, use 4 to 5 teabags. - Watch the pot when you add the milk and it comes to a boil because it can froth and run over. Words & Photos by Cynthia Nelson