Cook the Book: Masala Chai

Cook the Book: Masala Chai
  • Yield:10 to 12
  • Rated: 1.0

According to Is it Iced Coffee Weather it is officially time to forgo the cold stuff in favor of warming drinks geared towards fall and winter. On a recent chilly morning I decided to try out this recipe for Masala Chai from Sephi Bergerson's Street Food of India. It's worlds away from the syrupy coffee shop chai (which I've always thought had more to do with a pumpkin spice latte than the leaner Indian black tea infused with cardamom and ginger.)

This traditional recipe is made by steeping black tea leaves with fresh, chopped ginger and crushed cardamom pods. After boiling the ingredients together for a few minutes you are left with a dark, potent tea, sharp with ginger and full of that clean, aromatic quality that cardamom lends. The ratio of milk and sugar is entirely up to you, although the dairy sweetness really compliments the spices of the tea. Sweetly spiced and wonderfully warming, this homemade version might just be my new favorite morning picker-upper.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Street Food of India to give away this week.

Adapted from Street Food of India by Sephi Bergerson. Copyright © 2010. Published by I. B. Tauris. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.


  • 6 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons tea leaves or tea dust
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cardamom pods, powdered
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sugar to taste, optional


  1. 1.

    Boil the water, tea leaves, ginger and green cardamom powder together for 3 minutes. Add the milk and sugar (optional) and boil for another 2 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer and serve at once.

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