My Aunt sent me a chai recipe. She makes hers with a chai masala spice and black tea. If you can find the chai masala spice, mix it with black tea and your work is done. If not, follow this recipe.
I always buy spices in bulk. They are a fraction of the cost and you can get just the quantity you need. Cardamom is a good example. A 1.75 ounce jar runs about $12. In bulk, the same amount is a little over $3.
While it is tempting to use ground spices for this, don’t. The chai will get sort of slimy and will be hard to strain (yes, this I know from experience).
1/2 of a star anise star and/or 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon bark (or 2 short sticks)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2-3 cardamom pods opened to the seeds or 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
3 cups water
2 heaping tablespoons loose black tea
3 cups whole milk
Sugar or honey
- In a 2-qt saucepan, add spices to 3 cups of water.
- Boil for a few minutes then remove from heat and let steep for 5 to 20 minutes. The longer it steeps, the stronger it will be. I steep it for the full 20 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of whole milk to the water and spices. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add the loose tea and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey or sugar.
Makes four 12oz cups.