You can adjust this chai recipe to your own personal taste and preference. The ratio of milk to water (or indeed, choice to use cow's milk at all) is perhaps the biggest variable, followed by choice and amount of sweetener. Start with an easy recipe like this, and then adjust to emphasize the qualities you like best in your masala chai.
- 2 teaspoons loose black tea such as Assam
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped or grated ginger
- 8 whole cloves
- 6 whole cardamom seed pods (give 'em a lil squeeze before adding to mixture)
- Optional: cinnamon stick and 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener such as demerara sugar, to taste
In a small saucepan, bring the tea, water, milk ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick and peppercorns (if using) to a boil. Quickly reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until flavor is your desired intensity. Add sweetener to taste. Strain the mixture into a cup and serve hot.