If you like chai but have never made it, here’s an easy recipe! I make chai every morning to start my day. I like simple chai, using organic ingredients and only ginger to spice it. This is the recipe I’ve settled on—it makes two cups of chai. Adjust the ingredients and measurements to suit your own taste.
1 cup water (use the cup you’re going to drink from as a measure)
1 cup milk
2 tsp sugar
Fresh ginger, sliced thin or grated
3 tsp loose black tea
Mantra of your choice!
Boil the ginger in water for several minutes, adding sugar as it heats.
Add the milk and heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
Add the tea and heat until the chai begins to boil up. Lift the pan off the heat as it comes to a full boil, repeating your mantra. Repeat this step twice more, for a total of three. Strain the chai, and enjoy!
Note: Fill the cup all the way to the top with water and milk, to allow for evaporation as the chai cooks. When it’s done, I strain all the chai into a smaller vessel so it doesn’t turn bitter before I drink the second cup. I also cover the smaller pan and put it back onto the same burner I used to cook the chai, so it will stay warm until I’m ready for the second cup. 😉
- Many people like spicier chai. You can add cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black pepper, whatever!
- Roasting the tea before adding it gives the chai a beautiful taste. Put the tea leaves in a small, dry pan (cast iron is good). Heat, shaking gently just until the fragrance begins to waft up. It happens quickly, so don’t leave it — it burns quickly too! Toss the roasted tea leaves into the chai mixture at the appropriate time.
- If you don’t like to boil tea, you can follow all the steps above, leaving the tea out. When the mixture has boiled for the last time, turn the heat off and put the tea in. Let it steep a few minutes until brewed to your taste.
- You can substitute soy or nut milk. Some nut milks tend to be more watery, so you can eliminate the water and double the nut milk.
- You can also substitute herbal teas for the black tea. You just have to try different teas and see what you like. I used peppermint tea in my chai when I was pregnant and nursing my kids (a million years ago), and it was very tasty.
- If you prefer to sweeten your chai with honey, wait until it’s finished brewing, and put the honey in after you pour the chai into your cup. According to ayurvedic guidelines, it’s best not to cook honey.