Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Masala Chai

I've never liked coffee.  Strange, but true.  It smells amazing, but no matter how I doctor it up, it just isn't palatable to me.  Instead, I'm a tea drinker.  Black tea, mostly.  But that's not to say that a glass of iced green tea isn't nice every now and then.

A while back, my aunt had sent me the perfect mix of spices for concocting a steaming mug of Masala Chai (thanks again, Juj!).  I've really been meaning to blog about this for some time, but never got around to it.  Since I'm working from home today, and feeling a little under the weather, I figured that this would be the perfect time to steep another mug and share it with you.

Anyone who has been to an Indian restaurant will likely be familiar with this tea.

Clockwise from the top: cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, black loose leaf tea, star anise.

Adapted from recipes found on Honey, What's Cooking? and Arctic Garden Studio.  Makes 2 8ish oz. cups of tea, or if you're like me, 1 gigantic cup.

You'll need:

2 cups water
3 cardamom pods, cracked
~3 inch cinnamon stick, broken
1 star anise, whole
3-4 tsp black tea leaves, loose*
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)**
sugar, to taste

Boil the water on medium heat in a pot.  Once little bubbles form in the pot, add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and star anise.  After a few minutes, add the tea leaves.

Stir the pot.  The water should be boiling at this point.  Add the milk and stir.  Watch for it to begin boiling again.  Stay close, because there's the possibility that the mixture might foam up and spill over.

Boil for a few minutes, and once the tea starts to foam up, or rise, take it off the heat.  Strain the tea into a cup.  Add sugar to taste, and enjoy!

For me, it doesn't get much better than this.  This tea is spicy, fragrant, and delicious.  Though it's a little more time consuming than brewing up a plain old cup of tea, it's definitely worth it.  Perfect for sipping leisurely while snuggling on the couch with your pup and watching Paranormal State for hours on end.  Or maybe that's just me? =) 

*I used the loose leaf English Breakfast from Teavana.  But really, I imagine you could open up some bags of black tea as well.

**You don't want to use anything with a lower fat content than 1% milk.  The consistency just won't be the same.


  1. Hey Lauren!
    Just a fun fact I learned on the honeymoon at a place that grew cinnamon trees. You can reuse a cinnamon stick. Rinse it and let it dry out and it can be reused for years according to them!
    Haven't had to use a cinnamon stick since I learned this, but just thought I'd pass along the information!

    1. Say whaaaat? I had no idea! I'll definitely give this a try.


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