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Friday, February 19, 2016

Chai Masala & Masala Chai

 Masala chai is tea brewed with chai masala. Though 'masala chai' and 'chai masala' contain the same words in them, they are not one and the same. The order in which those two words 'chai' and 'masala' are spelled makes all the difference. The word 'Chai' stands for brewed tea in Hindi and many other Indian languages, while 'Masala' refers to the spices/spiciness. 'Masala chai' refers to the spicy tea beverage while "Chai masala' indicates the melange of spices/herbs used to accentuate the flavor quotient in a tea preparation. Chai masala can be store-bought or custom made at home to suit one's taste buds. The quantity of spices/herbs used in a chai masala depends upon individual preference / one's favored spices. One can go with a basic version such as using only ginger and/or cardamom or go with a dozen other herbs and spices. My version is the one I had come up with after a few trials, to suit my husband's preferences. It can be taken as a guideline and the quantity of spices can be changed to suit your needs, as mentioned above. And also I add fresh ginger while preparing tea even though I add the chai masala since my husband prefers a strong ginger flavor.

Ingredients for chai masala:
2 tsp. cardamom pods / about 24 cardamom pods
2 tsp. dry ginger powder
10 cloves
10 pepper corns
1" cinnamon bark

* Add all ingredients to a spice grinder / blender and grind finely. It is not a big deal if you find the cardamom husks not properly ground. Store it in an airtight container and use as needed. 

Ingredients for masala chai: (1 serving)
3/4 cup water
1" peeled and crushed ginger root (optional) 
1.5 to 2 tsp. black tea granules / leaves
1/2 tsp. chai masala or as needed
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. full fat milk
Sugar to taste (or artificial sweetener)

* Add water and ginger to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
* Add tea leaves / granules and chai masala. Continue to boil for about 3 to 4 minutes more.
* Next add milk and sugar and continue boiling the mixture until it starts to boil over.
* Pass it through a sieve and serve immediately.
Check here to see what other marathoners are cooking for BM #61.



Srividhya Gopalakrishnan said...

what will do without this ginger chai.. yumm

Gayathri Kumar said...

I remember drinking masala chai in a train from Bombay. But never tried it at home. I am bookmarking your recipe to try later..

Pavani N said...

Masala for the chai sounds amazing. It will add so much flavor to the tea. Amazing.

Jayanthi said...

I buy tea masala powder...will give this one a try..nice one!

Padma Rekha said...

I like to have green or black tea but if I have to choose milk tea this would be my option...

Sapana Behl said...

My kind of chai.Love it.

Srivalli said...

Such an interesting word play right..good one..I enjoy this spice tea too on those times when I make it..

Priya Suresh said...

Just love this masala chai as well, i want a cup rite now.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

I am craving for a cup of masala chai right now! Looks so delightful.

Harini-Jaya R said...

This is the tea we prefer at home too.

Usha said...

Beautiful pictures and nice presentation.