Ginger Cardamom Tea (Chai)

Tea is very personal, or so it is believed amongst South East Asians. We are 5 people who drank tea in our home, while growing up and all of us liked it made differently! There is no right way or wrong way, it’s just a preference. This one is a basic Tea recipe and you can tweak it, customize it to your taste b adjusting the Ginger and the Cardamom. Here is an aromatic version made with spicy ginger and sweet cardamom – the desi way!

Serves – 2

Ingredients:

Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
Cardamom – 2 whole, pounded or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Sugar – to taste
Tea – 2 tsp

Method:

1. In a small pot, add water and grated ginger. Allow it to come to a boil.
2. Add in milk and again allow it to come to a boil, stirring in between.
3. Stir in tea leaves and let it come to a rolling boil.
4. Turn off stove, add cardamom powder, cover and allow tea to steep for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add sugar to taste.

Notes: If you prefer a stronger (kadak) tea, allow it to boil a little longer. Tea bags may also be used in place of tea leaves.

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How to make masala chai, chai tea, desi style masala chai, tea, cha,

42 thoughts on “Ginger Cardamom Tea (Chai)

  1. Good day, we love your website,

    I have an issue with milk. I make tea several times a week and mostly it works wonderfully. But perhaps one out of 20 batches the milk I use curdles for a reason I cannot explain. I clean the pot, ingredients are all the same etc.

    I know you use lemon juice to get milk to curdle when you want it to but of course the is no lemon in my tea. Is it possible that there is a component to ginger that may create the same effect if too much ginger is used? I do like a lot of ginger but usually no problem with the amount I use. Is it just simply bad milk? Milk never has a chance to get old in our house so I don’t think that’s it.

    Any thoughts you can share would be wonderful

    Thank you

    Nate

  2. Hi Anuja & Hetal,

    I love your tea recipe, but what shocked me is i noticed you do not boil your cardamon, i was told to let it boil for about 30 mins or rather all the masala spices should be boiled, can you comment on that.

    O
    therwise keep doing what you’re doing i love it.

  3. Hellow sweetheart I love your recipis . I maid moong and red lentil(masri) dal it was very tasty I never maid dal that good in my life.send me all dal and sabji recipis. Keep it continue .thanks

  4. Hi Anuja & Hetal,

    I am really enjoying your website. I’ve got a question about the tea you used. I have been using assam tea — it is what my relatives taught me to use. Is there much of a difference in the tea you use and the assam that I use?

    Also – I have having a very hard time finding a chai masala that I like. My relatives hooked me up with some they brought from someone who make a great masala in India. Since my relatives are in Port Arthur, TX and I am in Columbus, OH, I can’t just run over to their house and bum some off of them! Every time I go to the Indian grocery, I pick up a different masala — I really haven’t found one that I like yet. The one that I can at least tolerate is Laxmi brand. I have discovered that I DO NOT like masala with anise in it! Any suggestions for a masala that is warm (peppery) and savory (cinnamon & nutmeg)? I ALWAYS add black cardamom to my chai.

    Keep up the GREAT work! I am really enjoying your videos. They are informative and entertaining.

    1. Hi Dave,

      We’re so glad you’re enjoying our show!

      The tea that you use is purely dependent upon your own tastebuds. Each type of tea will have a slightly different flavor so once you find one that you like, you can stick to it. We usually use Red Label or Waag Bakri but we definitely have not gotten around to trying all the different ones available :). I have a wonderful mom who supplies me with fresh homemade tea masala so I have not really experimented with the different brands available. However, you are in luck as we do have a homemade tea masala video coming out in the near future…stay tuned!

  5. Hetal & Anuja, the tea you used looks different than the kind I use. My Indian family showed me how to make chai using assam tea. Any thoughts on what is best?

    Also — I was supplied with a bag of chai masala from my relatives (who live in Port Arthur, TX, while I live in Columbus, OH), they got it from someone in India — I have tried just about every chai masala I can find when I go to the Indian grocery. I haven’t really found one that I really like as much as the original. I just read ingredient lists and hope for the best! I really don’t like the ones with anise in the them. I prefer spicy (with black or white pepper) with cinnamon and nutmeg type overtones — I ALWAYS add black cardamom in addition to the masala. Can you think of a brand that might fit that bill? The closest I’ve found is Laxmi brand chai masala.

    Keep up the GREAT work — I LOVE your website!

  6. Hetal & Anuj, the tea you used looks different than the kind I use. My Indian family showed me how to make chai using assam tea. Any thoughts on what is best?

    Also — I was supplied with a bag of chai masala from my relatives (who live in Port Arthur, TX, while I live in Columbus, OH), they got it from someone in India — I have tried just about every chai masala I can find when I go to the Indian grocery. I haven’t really found one that I really like as much as the original. I just read ingredient lists and hope for the best! I really don’t like the ones with anise in the them. I prefer spicy (with black or white pepper) with cinnamon and nutmeg type overtones — I ALWAYS add black cardamom in addition to the masala. Can you think of a brand that might fit that bill? The closest I’ve found is Laxmi brand chai masala.

    Keep up the GREAT work — I LOVE your website!

  7. Hello,
    Just stumbled onto your website via youtube today. Just wondering – is it ok to use cardamom SEEDS instead of ground or pods?
    Thanks,
    Kim

    1. Hi Kimbo,

      Cardamom seeds/pods release the maximum aroma when they are pounded or ground. Just adding seeds will not produce the desired amount of aroma and flavor.

  8. Hi,
    i made tea and it was sticking to the bottom.i used skim milk and less water .i tried twice and still it was sticking to the bottom

    1. Hi Ria,

      It is the nature of milk to stick to the bottom of the pan. It helps to add water first to the pan before adding milk.

  9. Hetal and Anuj – would you by any chance know how to make chai available in Irani restaurants in Mumbai? Those cuppa are awesome

  10. Hi,

    When you crush cardomom, do you open the pods and crush what’s inside or do you crush the entire pod?

    Thank you,
    Ann Marie

  11. Hetal and Anuja
    Thanks a lot for all your recipes.. They are great. I love tea anytime anyday.Had a question.. What brand of tea do you use? I see some people boiling water with tea and then adding milk. Does that depend on the type of tea? Dust vs. Leaves?

    Thanks again..

  12. Ahh! A perfect recipe to show to my high-schooler! No more excuses for not keeping that hot cuppa ready when mom gets back home from work 😛

    I am sure my daughter will be visiting your web-site a lot when she goes away to college. She absolutely loved the veg frankies, the chicken kathi rolls and the bean enchiladas. You girls are doing such an awesome job for our community and all others who love desi food or desi twist to other cuisines. Keep up the great work!

  13. Anuja & Hetal,

    The recipe looks great! I have (black tea) teabags – how many would you suggest using for this recipe? Also, do you think a sweetner would be ok to use instead of sugar? I don’t want to ruin the drink!

    Thanks,

    Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Usually it’s 1 tea bag for every cup but really depends on how strong or weak you like you tea. Regarding using sweetner, yes, you can use it instead of sugar.
      Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Well, I made the drink this evening. I had fresh ginger to grate, but realized too late that I did not have cardamom! I scavaged through my cupboard and found nutmeg…I added a little of that. Then, I found the garam masala! I added a few sprinkles. The drink tastes great! Since this is the first time, I don’t know what it is supposed to taste like with just cardamom, but the garam masala is great! Just thought I would mention it in case anyone else realizes they ran out of cardamom.

        Thanks for the super recipe.

        Kelly

  14. HI Hetal
    your tea was so good but I like your mug as well, will you tell me where can I get those type of mugs??please I will be glad if you will.

    1. Hi Raisha,

      I purchased the tea cups from Bangalore, India. I have not seen them here in the US but maybe some other viewers can help.

    1. Hi Gizzel,

      Yes, you can use ginger powder but the flavor will be slightly different than fresh ginger. Most tea masalas have ginger powder in them.

  15. Thanks a lot Hetal. I used 1% milk, and still it came out so good. I am sure 2% would be the best for making tea in your way.

    Love
    Subha.B

    1. Hi Subha,

      I usually use 2% milk for tea. Since we mix it with water, it gives the right amount of creaminess. There is no hard and fast rule though…some people use whole milk and there are even some who use less than 2%.

  16. Hi Pavithra,
    We are glad you are enjoying your tea now:)

    You are right, the tea cups are beautiful, we love them too. They were bought in India. Hope that helps:)

  17. Hi hetal and anuja,
    I never used to get my tea right..but with your recipe, I always get it right. Thank you soooooo much.
    And I really liked the tea cup you have in your video..where did you buy those…?

  18. Hi Sanjana,
    The pan is from the US, Bed Bath and Beyond. I have also seen similar ones at Kohl’s as well. They are available in India as well.

  19. Hi Amitha,

    We have had pretty good results with Red Label tea (available at Indian grocery stores). My mom uses Wag/Bakri (sp?), and she says its a little stronger.

  20. Hi there,

    I am big fan of your’s, i have tried quiet a few recipes here and have liked it. My question for u is which loose tea do you use or suggest. Pls do let us know.

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