A warm cup of authentic Indian Masala Chai, prepared with aromatic spices and ginger, to refresh and brighten your morning! 

Two cups of tea with toast on the side
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Chai is like religion for many people in India. The day does not start until you have a warm cup of kadak Chai (strong tea). If you have any visitors or guests coming to your house, it would almost be considered rude if you don’t ask for a cup of chai. All the fun conversations are surrounded around chai!

You will find street vendors everywhere simmering a large pot of tea. You will hear the popular term in Mumbai cutting chai, which just means half a cup of tea. You might find it interesting that people have chai multiple times in a day, however the quantity they drink is very less, just a few sips.

I am a complete chai person, and need my morning and afternoon cup of tea. My favorite is Masala Chai with a blend of whole spices and lots of ginger. It is a perfect way to kickstart the day right. What is your preferred beverage to start the day?

What makes an authentic Masala Chai is the use of freshly ground whole spices. Fresh ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves…all the flavorful warm spices. Lightly crush them and add them when boiling water for tea.

Like the popular Garam Masala, every single family in India has their own unique blend of spices they prefer in their masala chai. But one thing is sure, this chai is definitely not like the chai latte you have at Starbucks or Peets. This is authentic Indian Masala Tea with Milk.

You might also enjoy the very popular Mango Lassi, Badam Doodh, and Masala Chaas (Buttermilk) recipe.

To say “Chai” or “Chai Tea”?

You might hear people saying “Chai Tea” commonly in US. However “chai” translates to “tea”. So you are almost repeating the same word again 🙂

Best to use either “chai” or “tea” when asking for your favorite latte or masala tea next time!

What is Masala Chai?

Masala means a blend of spices. and the tea brewed along with spices is called Masala Chai.

You can make Masala Chai with freshly crushing the whole spices when making tea or using a Chai Masala Powder.

If you make tea everyday, I like the convenience of having the chai masala powder ready and available. It makes it so much easier to make the Chai.

Ingredients to make masala tea. Masala tea powder, tea leaves, sugar, spices, milk

What are the ingredients to make Masala Chai?

The main ingredients to make Masala Tea are very basic and pretty much the same in all recipes. What varies is the quantity of spices or add-ons to flavor the tea. Some like to add lots of ginger, others lots of cardamom and others may prefer only whole spices.

Basic tea ingredients: 

  • Water
  • Milk – Use whole milk or 2% or even non-fat depending on your taste. You can also use almond or oat milk.
  • Sugar – You can also use another sweetener such as honey or maple syrup.
  • Tea leaves – I prefer Wagh Bakri brand as it has the strong flavor we prefer. You can use tea bags too.

Ingredients to flavor tea:

  • Fresh Ginger
  • Green Cardamom pods
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Black Peppercorns

If you are using an already prepared Chai Masala Blend, you can skip the last 4 ingredients and just add fresh ginger to the tea.

How to make Masala Chai?

  1. Start with gathering the basic ingredients and the spices you want to add to your chai.
  2. Heat up about 1 1/3 cup of water in a pot on medium-high heat. (This is for 2 cups of chai)
  3. While water is heating, crush spices using a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder. Add the crushed spices to the water.
  4. Grate the ginger directly into the pot of water.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and bring the water to a boil.
  6. Now add the tea leaves and let it boil for a minute. You can also add sugar at this time or add it in the cup when serving.
  7. Add 3/4 cup of milk and stir it in.
  8. Bring the tea to a boil. The tea can overflow easily, so keep a close eye.
  9. Once the tea comes to a boil. Turn off the gas and cover with a lid for one minute.
  10. Strain the tea in a cup and enjoy!
Chai in a bowl with spices and a glass filled with tea

Tips to make the perfect Masala Chai

  • Water to Milk Ratio: This ratio is very much a personal preference. I prefer about 2/3 water to 1/3 whole milk in a cup of Chai. If you like richer, thicker tea, you could use more milk and less water or for a stronger tea, use even lesser milk.
  • Make sure the water is simmering before you add the spices and ginger.
  • Ginger is a must have. Add ginger in water and let it simmer before adding milk, else it can curdle the tea sometimes.
  • Adjust the spices you add to your taste. A few tries and you will know your preference. I like to make Chai Masala blend and have it handy for everyday use.
  • Do not boil the tea leaves for long, just about a minute.
  • You can pick the pot using the pot handle to move it in circular motion carefully. This helps to stir it well.
Masala Chai in 2 cups

Benefits of Masala Chai

Chai on its own is acidic in nature. Adding the ginger and whole spices nullifies the acidic nature of the tea, and adds a number of benefits. The benefits of chai mainly come from the spices added to it. All the spices we add to the chai masala have lots of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

The main benefit of chai I feel is it reduces my fatigue. Whenever I am tired, a cup of tea always brightens me up. The tannins present in tea help calm the body and revitalize it. Tea also contains caffeine, although in much less quantity than coffee.

This Masala Chai is:

  • Warm
  • Spicy
  • Gingery
  • Comforting and refreshing
  • Vegetarian & gluten free

Enjoy Masala Chai by dipping a toast in it or with a cookie. Toast is always my preference. Or have it with some delicious snacks such as Paneer puff pastry, Rava Dhokla, Khaman Dhokla or Vada Pav.

4.93 from 78 votes

Indian Masala Chai Recipe (Spiced Milk Tea)

A warm cup of authentic Indian Masala Chai, prepared with aromatic spices and ginger, to refresh and brighten your morning! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/3 cup Water
  • 2/3 cup Milk, Whole milk or 2%, add or reduce to taste
  • 1 inch Ginger, freshly grated (about 3oz)
  • 3 teaspoon Tea leaves
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar, adjust to taste

Chai masala spices (can be replaced with 1/2 tsp prepared Chai Masala)

Instructions 

  • Heat water in a pot on medium-high heat.
  • While water is heating, crush spices using a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder. Add the crushed spices to the water. (The spices can be replaced with 1/2 tsp of prepared Chai Masala)
  • Grate the ginger directly into the pot of water. Reduce heat to medium and bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the tea leaves and let it boil for a minute. You can also add sugar at this time or add it in the cup when serving.
  • Add milk and stir it in.
  • Bring the tea to a boil. The tea can overflow easily, so keep a close eye.
  • Once the tea comes to a boil. Turn off the gas and cover with a lid for one minute.
  • Strain the tea in a cup and enjoy!

Notes

  • Water to Milk Ratio: This ratio is very much a personal preference. I prefer about 2/3 water to 1/3 milk in a cup of Chai. If you like richer, thicker tea, you could use more milk and less water or for a stronger tea, use even lesser milk.
  • Make sure the water is simmering before you add the spices and ginger.
  • Ginger is a must have. Add ginger in water and let it simmer before adding milk, else it can curdle the tea sometimes.
  • Adjust the spices you add to your taste. A few tries and you will know your preference. I like to make Chai Masala blend and have it handy for everyday use.
  • Do not boil the tea leaves for long, just about a minute.
  • You can pick the pot using the pot handle to move it in circular motion carefully. This helps to stir it well.

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 45mgPotassium: 130mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 0.3mg

Additional Info

Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
4.93 from 78 votes (57 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




45 Comments

  1. Simple and delicious! As soon as I had cardamom pods in my spice cabinet, I knew exactly what I wanted to make!

  2. For those who are lactose intolerant- I’ve made this tea before with my Nepalese friend with loose leaves and today I made it for my poor stomach. I put 50/50 2% pasteurized LACTOSE FREE milk and I actually broke the tea bags and used the leaves omitted the peppercorns added the spices I liked (some extra of those I really like) and it came out AMAZING.
    Don’t be afraid to venture until you get the RIGHT formula for YOU.. Prenum

    1. Hi Batel – Thank you for sharing back the lactose free option. It will be very helpful to other readers!

    1. Hi Gina – Sorry I have not tried using milk powder for chai, so cannot say for sure what measurements will work well.

  3. I know this is probably a long shot, but do you have any suggestions for making vegan chai? I’ve attempted it a few times with almond milk, but it just didn’t taste good at all. Thanks, Meeta!

    1. Hi Katy – Sorry, I don’t have first hand suggestions, but here is what I have heard from others. Some mentioned they found oat milk to be close to the taste. Also you can try ripple plant based milk if that tastes better in chai.

  4. Thanks to the knowledge of friends, this is very useful for beginner bloggers like me.

  5. Is there any harm in pulsing the masala mix spices in the blender to a fine powder, preparing the tea + spices, and drinking the tea without straining?

  6. Which milk do we use here? I tried making chai with 2% pasteurized milk at medium flame, but the milk got spoilt. Should I try with raw milk?

    1. Hi Dewang – Pasteurized milk should work well to make chai. I have seen the milk get spoiled when milk is added to early, before boiling the ginger in water. Let the ginger simmer in water until it comes to a boil, then only add the milk. I hope you try it again!

  7. In this recipe you say the spices can be replaced with 1/2 teaspoon of the prepared spice blend…..in the Chai Masala powder recipe, you say to use 1/4 teaspoon. Which is accurate?

    1. Hi Catherine – I can see the reason for the confusion. I suggest 1/4 teaspoon per cup of chai. This chai recipe is for 2 servings, hence 1/2 teaspoon of the blend. Hope you enjoy the chai!