Masala chai is tea prepared with a blend of spices (a masala). The tea leaves are heated with the water, milk and spices from cold as opposed to brewing with already hot water.
By Reena Pastakia
- 5 grams root ginger
- 100 millilitres milk
- 350 millilitres water
- ¼ teaspoon chai masala (homemade or shop bought)
- 2 teaspoons strong Indian tea leaves
- sugar to taste
- Crush the ginger using a blunt object - e.g. the handle of a large knife. Don't attack it too hard - this is purely to release some of the flavour.
- Place the ginger, milk, water, chai masala and tea leaves into a small pan.
- Heat on a high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. It will start foaming and then gushing towards the top of the pan. Take care not to let the tea over-boil onto the hob, removing the pan from the heat if necessary.
- Now reduce the heat to low.
- Gently stir the tea and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the tea has a golden brown colour (paler if you prefer weaker tea).
- Strain the tea into cups using a tea strainer or fine sieve.
- Serve immediately with sugar if required.
Reena grew up thinking Indian cooking was a dark art where the quantities of spices required in each dish were innately known to a chosen few. It was only after she married an Englishman with a voracious appetite for Indian food that she started phoning home for cooking tips. She started her blog (coconutraita.com) in an attempt to document her family’s recipes and make Indian cooking accessible to all.