The Perfect Chai Recipe

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Chai is Hindi for “tea”.  Thanks to Starbucks, though, the word “chai” has become synonymous with what is known in India as masala (“spiced”) chai.

The recipe that follows is for masala chai.  I learned it from my wife (you can read the full account at Born Hungry), and have perfected it over the last couple of years.  It takes less that ten minutes to prepare, and delivers one of the most refreshing drinks in existence.

Don’t take my word for it, though.  Try it yourself.

Ingredients & Utensils

Before we begin, here's what you'll need to make two full-ish coffee mugs of tea—

1.5 cup water, 1 cup whole milk, 5 cardamoms, 15 peppercorns, 1 stick of cinnamon, 5 cloves, 2.5 teaspoons black tea powder (aka, loose leaf tea, like Lipton), sugar, spice grinder, strainer, measuring cup, and cooking pot.

The Recipe

1. Assemble the secret spices—5 cardamoms, 10 (normal) to 15 (spicy) peppercorns, one stick of cinnamon and 5 cloves.
2. Grind the spices to help bring out the flavor later during preparation.
3. Add ground spices, 2.5 teaspoons of tea powder, and 1.5 cups of water to the pot. Bring to boil.
4. Once the mixture is boiling, add in the milk. Continue heating till the mixture with milk just starts boiling. At this point, remove the pot from the stove.
5. Pour the tea into serving cups (preferably ones with some personality) through a strainer that catches everything but the liquid.
6. Add 1.5 teaspoons sugar (more for the sweet-toothed among you) to each cup, stir & serve!

And, a Bonus Video

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