Indian Chai Masala Recipe
Chai Masala is an Indian spice mix mainly used to flavor the milk tea (chai). This masala tea powder is a dry, ready-to-use, gluten-free, and vegan spice powder that can be stored for a year. It is is the secret ingredient to make the Indian style masala chai at home.
What is Masala Chai?
Masala Chai is an Indian style hot milk tea flavored with spices. It is a more fragrant and spiced version of English milk tea.
Masala Chai is perfect for colder days and for curing anything from a runny nose to a broken heart. It is a widely popular drink in the Indian sub-continent.
Chai or tea isn’t just another beverage in the subcontinent. Instead, it’s an emotion and something that one can share memories, good weather, and gossip over.
Masala chai is high has a lot of medicinal benefits, which comes from the chai masala used in making the tea.
What is Masala Tea Made Of?
You need these 4 ingredients to make a perfect cup of masala tea:
Black Tea Leaves (chai patti)
Masala Tea Benefits
Masala tea is unarguably delicious, but it also boasts of several benefits apart from the taste, which gives you one more reason to get another cuppa.
- Reduces inflammation – Ginger present in the tea masala is effective in reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the underlying cause of most diseases
- Balances hormones – Cinnamon and cloves in the tea masala help women balance their hormones, promote insulin absorption and help balance blood sugars
- Better digestion – A hot cup of tea may help your food digest better and aid in reducing bloating and weight loss as well
- Clears the sinuses – For those with a blocked nose or annoyingly plugged masala passage, a steaming hot cup of masala chai may help hear out block sinuses and relieve discomfort
- Instant mood upliftment – Needless to say, tea instantly energizes you a gives you fresh start regardless of what time of day you drink it
About Chai Masala
Chai Masala is super simple to make at home and can be easily stored at room temperature for a year.
It is a blend of – green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, dry ginger powder, and nutmeg.
All you need to do is dry roast the whole spices in a cast-iron skillet till the aroma is released. Next, grind them to a powder, mix ginger powder, and your tea masala is ready to use.
A dash of masala tea powder can be used in cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, or gingerbread cake. Instead of opening different jars of spices, it is always easy to add a teaspoon of chai masala to flavor the dish.
You need only 6 ingredients to make tea masala powder at home from scratch. The blend of these spices gives the chai a unique and comforting taste.
Each of these spices has tons of medicinal benefits.
Green Cardamom: The green cardamom is known as ‘elaichi’ in Hindi. It adds aroma and sweet taste to the tea masala. Green cardamom is a great antioxidant as well.
Cloves: The cloves are called ‘laung’ in Hindi. It has a sharp and earthy taste. It is a natural home remedy for dental pain or cold/cough.
Cinnamon: The cinnamon or ‘dal chini’ is the best companion of milk beverages. It gives an earthy taste and aroma to the tea. Along with that, it is an antioxidant that helps in controlling diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Black Peppercorns: The black pepper or ‘kali mirch’ gives a little spicy kick to the tea masala. It is also an anti-inflammatory that aids in digestion too.
Dry Ginger Powder: The dry ginger powder is known as ‘saunth’ in Hindi. It is the powder of dried ginger roots.
Usually, fresh ginger root is added separately in masala tea. But with ginger powder already in the spice mix no need to add fresh ginger root. It is an anti-inflammatory that soothes sore throat as well.
Nutmeg: A tiny piece of ‘jaiphal’ is added to the chai masala to give it a spicy kick and warmth. It aids in digestion and strengthens the human immunity system.
Making Masala Tea
While most people know how to make tea, here are some basic tips on how one can make tea tastier:
Always, correctly measure the water for making the tea. If you are making 2 cups of tea, then use exactly 2 cups of water.
Add ½ teaspoon of chai masala. Let the spice powder boil for 10 – 20 seconds to flavor the water. Without this step, your tea will not get enough of the magic from the chai masala.
Don’t add too much of the tea leaves, it will only make your tea bitter. A teaspoon of strong tea leaves is enough for making 2 cups of tea.
Avoid boiling water for too long after adding tea leaves and sugar. Even for making iced tea, I avoid steeping tea for too long. It makes any kind of tea (hot or cold0 bitter. Another 10 – 20 seconds is enough. Stir once or twice with a spoon.
Don’t add too much milk – While milk aids in flavoring tea, too much of it makes the drink too thick and milky. For 2 cups of tea, half a cup of full cream or toned milk is sufficient.
Allow the tea to simmer over low heat for a few seconds to get the excellent color and taste. At this stage, you can taste the tea and add more sugar or milk, if required.
Store Chai Masala at room temperature in an airtight container. It remains fresh and aromatic for 6 months.
Or you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight jar to increase the shelf life.
I prefer storing tea masala powder in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid to retain its freshness, taste, and aroma.