How to Make Indian Chai – Tea with Milk and Masala

indian chai recipe

You’re making Indian chai! Yes, chai is tea and tea is chai. Let’s not use chai-tea again. :). This is going to be one of the easiest chai’s you are going to make without having to spend over $5 bucks a cup for an inauthentic cuppa from your local barista – no offense.

Below are the ingredients and method to making the perfect cup of chai. You can get the ingredients below from your desi or regular grocery store.

1. The Milk

I do need to say that this recipe or any Indian chai recipe tastes good with regular cow’s milk. If you are not a fan of cow milk or your tummy happens to be intolerant to it– you can try this recipe with a milk of similar consistency. An alternative to using regular milk is using oat milk. I use Oat milk, specifically the Oatly brand which seems to make my tummy happy.

2. The Tea Leaves

There are a ton of different black teas out there, but only a handful of teas that are..well, appropriate for making Indian chai. For instance, earl grey, any herbal tea, or rooibos teas will not give you the taste you desire from an Indian chai. If you are not able to get to an Indian grocer, I would recommend an English breakfast black tea. I like the Red Roses brand, Twinings, or Newman’s Own black tea. I personally use Newmans since a 100% of their profits go to charity. And I think thats amazing. I support! However, if you are able to get to an Indian grocer, look for either PG Tips, or Red Roses (its different from the American version). Decaffeinated black tea is good too – but again, make sure its English breakfast.

3. To Masala or Not

I personally like to have masala chai, which is chai that has been spiced with a few whole spices that I personally grind up and store. If you want to make your own spice, check out the quick and easy recipe here. Also, if you’re not so much of a spice person but you do like ginger, you can add a smash of that too! Or if you like it to be clean and neutral, leave out the spice and ginger.

The Union of Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Black Tea (loose leaf)/ 1 bag
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cups of water
  • 1 inch of smashed ginger (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of chai spice (optional, check the recipe above of click here)
  • Sugar or Honey added to taste

The Method:

Serves: 1

Get a small/medium pot. Boil the water on medium heat. Once the water starts boiling add in the optional ginger and let that boil and reduce the water by half. Add in the milk and the optional chai spice. Let that boil for 30 seconds before reducing the heat to medium low and add in the black tea. If you are using teabags, just cut open the bags and drop the tea leaves into the pot. Let that slow boil for about 5 minutes until your tea turns a deep brown color and you start to smell the tea not just the smell of milk – that’s when you know its done.

Strain the tea in your fav tea mug (add sugar/honey to taste) and enjoy!

Have you made chai before? What’s your chai recipe?

Featured photo courtesy of

Article last updated on September 14th, 2021

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