Two years ago I trekked to India for a 9-day intensive homeopathy course led by the great Rajan Sankaran and his compatriots. I spent 3 days in Mumbai, 9 days in Varca, Goa and 4 days travelling the Golden Triangle: Delhi to Agra to Jaipur and back again. It was a remarkable experience, and one which I will not soon forget. One of my favorite parts of the journey was drinking authentic masala chai tea. I had discovered chai at Starbucks long ago, but now I had the opportunity to try the real deal. And boy was it everywhere – from the local chai wallah trekking his Thermos through the streets, to the multitude of restaurants, and even from the caterers at snack time during our course. I had gallons of the stuff while I was away from home and the warm beverage provided me great comfort especially during bouts of homesickness.
Masala chai tea combines a number of warming, aromatic spices with black tea and milk. It’s the perfect tea to warm you up on a cold wintery day, comfort you from nausea, and give you a dose of inflammation-fighting, antioxidant-heavy, digestive-friendly spices. I swear it kept me healthy while I was in India.
Since my love for masala chai became very apparent in India I decided I needed to stock up on my own Indian spices so I could take the experience home with me to share with my family. I visited Sahakari Spice Farm in Goa and stocked up on the most incredible spices (I highly recommend visiting this spot when you are in India). Then, with the help of my friend and travel partner, Tehseen, I made my own masala chai tea, which I have shared with you today:
Yield: 2 servings
4 cardamom pods
2 sticks cinnamon
4 whole black peppercorns
½ inch ginger root
2 tea bags (black tea)
¼ cup evaporated milk, ½ cup homo milk, ¼ cup cream (this can be replaced with soy or almond milk)
2 cups water
2 tsp sucanat (this can be replaced with maple syrup or honey)
- 1Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan.
- Smash cardamom pods slightly with back of spoon, and peel ginger root.
- Add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, ginger root and tea bags to the saucepan with water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally (for strong tea boil longer than 5 minutes).
- Once spice aroma is present from steam, add milk and sucanat to desired taste.
- Stir quickly and frequently for another 2-3 minutes, ensuring foam created from heat does not spill over.
- Using a strainer to strain tea into mugs.
Note: Fennel, lemongrass and star anise are other amazing spices to add to the mix.
Chai… er… try it out and see how you like it.