Chai is the word for tea in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and the other countries in the region. It is derived from the Cantonese word “Cha” for tea. Over the years, chai has come to imply a chai made in a unique style. A typical cup of chai is prepared with:
- 1 Tea
- 2 Water
- 3 Milk
- 4 Spices
- 5 Masala Tea Recipe: WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE
- 6 Making Spicy Chai Indian Style Tea at Home
- 7 Masala Tea at Home
- 8 My Preference
- 9 Cinnamon: The King of Masala Tea Recipe
- 10 INGREDIENTS of Masala Chai
- 11 WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE [Quick Recipe]
- 12 The Benefits of Drinking Chai Tea
- 13 Tea as Anti-Oxidant
- 14 Cinnamon
- 15 Ginger
- 16 Cardamom
- 17 Cloves
The tea is mostly a strong black tea. These teas have a strong flavor and combine well with the sweetener and the spices. I hope you will find all the answers relating to “WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE” in this article.
Tea leaves are boiled in water to prepare a strong brew before other ingredients are added.
Usually, whole milk is used for its soothing and richness, but other types may be also be used. Soymilk may be used as an alternative for Vegans.
Sweetener: Usually, plain white sugar is used. Honey, agave nectar, or no-calorie sweetener may also be used.
Chai is traditionally spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, peppercorn, and cloves. These could be used individually or together. Prepared spice mix for chai is available at most Indian grocery stores. Other spices and flavors in vogue are nutmegs, vanilla, licorice, etc.
Masala Tea Recipe: WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE
There is no fixed recipe for chai. Simple chai is prepared by boiling loose-leaf tea with water and milk. The ratio of milk and water may vary according to taste. Spices may also be added to enhance the flavor. The spices may be used by themselves or in combination with other spices. Chai with one or more spices is called Masala chai. In the United States, chai is synonymous with masala chai.
Coffee shops sell chai under the name of Chai Latte. They usually add chai concentrate to steamed milk. They have based this on café latte, which is prepared by adding espresso to steamed milk.
Making Spicy Chai Indian Style Tea at Home
Having worked for many years in the technology sector with many fine people of East Indian heritage and origin. I not only developed a taste for spicy hot curries and overall Indian cuisine. But also for a type of spiced tea which has become popularized in the West over the last decade or so.
This is “spiced chai”, or “chai tea”. What is amusing is that “chai” is the name for tea. So the phrase “chai tea” is just repetition in two languages. What is spiced chai? It is when you mix strong black Indian teas with a spice blend called “tea masala”. Tea masala popularly contains ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. Mint leaves can optionally be added into the mix for a pleasant flavor variation.
Masala Tea at Home
This is not meant to be a recipe, so I will not state amounts. I rarely work from recipes. It is more fun to just experiment. What you should do to make a proper sort of spiced chai is to get some loose CTC cut Indian tea from an Indian market or online. Popular Indian brands are Wagh Bakri, Taj Mahal, Lipton Red, or Yellow Label (the Indian versions NOT the American Lipton, which is a weak American blend unrelated to the Indian brands), or any other strong Assam black tea that you can find. The CTC type of tea looks like little tiny balls. They are a “cut tear curl” cut of tea which infuses very well into the water, making a strong black solution. Take a few cups of water and boil in a pot.
Put in several teaspoons of this CTC or other strong black tea and let it simmer for a few minutes with a spoon of the chai spice blend, the tea masala mentioned earlier. Let the tea and the spices mix at a slow simmer for about 5 minutes. You can now add milk (enough to lighten to a nice creamy muddy color) and turn up the heat until it hits a boil, then back off and simmer for a few minutes. You can either add sugar or sweetener to the whole batch or by the cup. This is a drink meant to be sweetened. If you do not want sugar or are diabetic, you can use artificial or another sweetener.
I prefer stevia, but xylitol also works well. (xylitol can be fatal to dogs – not that you would give the chai to a dog but I mention it anyway) Now you can use a strainer to catch the loose tea leaves when you pour the hot spicy brew into cups, or a tea kettle, for serving. Indian people use fancy tea brewers for this whole process. If you desire precise amounts, you can easily find them online through any of the major search engines.
Spicy chai is a refreshing and lovely spiced tea drink.
In India, they have roadside tea stalls and vendors that sell it by the cup. Using a proper spice mix (or your grinding of the listed spices) and good quality strong Indian Assam tea is the way to go. Do not use the pre spiced bags of tea except in dire situations when you cannot do better, like if you are at work. Tea is a healthy drink, and the spices in spiced chai are very healthy for digestion and overall wellbeing.
Cinnamon: The King of Masala Tea Recipe
Cinnamon alone is excellent for keeping blood sugar levels in check, especially if you sweeten your chair with stevia or another non-sugar sweetener. Strong Assam tea contains many more antioxidant properties than weak industrial tea that many in the West and America think of when they think of tea. Many people who claim to dislike tea just never had anything except the pathetical flavor lacking types they find in the local supermarket. A good quality black tea should look at dark as freshly brewed coffee when thoroughly steeped in water.
Masala chai can open up another world of flavor sensation, and it can be as satisfying to the taste buds as an entire meal, without the calories of a full meal. Get yourself some tea masala and some Assam black tea and try it for yourself. You won’t be sorry.
INGREDIENTS of Masala Chai
- Five whole cardamom pods (slightly smashed)
- Two ground cloves
- One-inch ginger
- Two to Three tsp sugar
- One cup whole milk
- One cup of water
- One heaping tsp of black tea
WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE [Quick Recipe]
Boil the water in a small saucepan and then add cloves, ginger, and tea. After boiling the mixture for a minute, add the milk, sugar, and cardamom and boil it on high flame until the milk froths. Now it’s time to strain and serve your Masala Tea as well as to sip it with love.
The Benefits of Drinking Chai Tea
Drinking chai tea has become quite popular in the United States and the Western world. What was first known as masala chai in India has become a favorite beverage consisting of tea, spices, and milk.
Chai tea has many variations, depending on individual taste, the region where it is consumed, and even by individual families. The base of chai is always black tea, though some westerners have developed recipes for green tea as well. Different spices are also added to the tea, including pepper, ginger, cardamom, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon. Some recipes also use nutmeg in the recipe.
Tea as Anti-Oxidant
Black tea is well known for its antioxidant properties. Many studies have been done showing black tea has anti-inflammatory effects. Other studies have shown that tea consumption can reduce the damage done to DNA by free radicals in the environment. A recent study showed that this property is found in all types of tea, including black tea, and is also present in teas that have been heavily processed from going through the decaffeination process.
The particular benefits of chai tea come from the spices that are used in the making of the tea. Each spice has its unique properties that have different healing effects according to Ayurvedic medicine. Most of the spices used are thought to help with digestion as well as a healthy lifestyle.
Cinnamon is thought to increase vitality according to Ayurvedic practitioners. It is also used as a digestive aid and to calm the nerves.
Pepper is used for improving circulation and healing sinus problems. Like many of the spices in chai, it is also used to stimulate digestion.
Fennel is used to calming flatulence from digestive problems as well as great for oral health. Ayurvedic practitioners say it can also be used to improve alertness and reduce anxiety.
Ginger is well known to reduce nausea and calm the stomach. It can also be used to improve the circulatory system and help regulate blood sugar in people with diabetes. Ginger has also been studied and found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Cardamom is considered a warming spice by those practicing Ayurveda. It is used to aid digestion as well as decrease mucus, especially in those with lung problems.
Cloves are another digestive stimulant. Nutmeg, when used in chai tea, can also be used as a digestive aid.
There are many health benefits to drinking chai tea. Though most of the spices used in chai recipes are thought to help with digestion, they also seem to help with inflammation and anxiety. I hope you find this “WHAT IS CHAI? MASALA CHAI RECIPE” a worth reading.
Mark Adam Hyman is an American physician and New York Times best-selling author. He is the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center and was a columnist for The Huffington Post. Hyman was a regular contributor to the Katie Couric Show, until the show’s cancellation in 2013.