Chai Ka Masala

Manju Malhi shows how easy it is to combine the spices for your own version of Chai, the fragrant spiced tea that is popular all over India
By Manju Malhi
Chai Ka Masala
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes enough for about 15 cups of tea
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes plus cooling time
  • Effort: easy


  • 3-4 x 3 cm cinnamon sticks or cassia bark, broken into pieces
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • green cardamom, seeds only
  • 1 black cardamom, seeds only, optional
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

to serve

  • tea leaves
  • milk
  • sugar, optional

Tips and Suggestions

Wherever you go in India, the one thing you can be sure of is that you'll get a cup of tea. And as with much of their food, Indians like their tea spiced. Chai Ka Masala is an aromatic spiced tea created over centuries: a blend of freshly ground spices added to a boiling pot of loose tea and milk, and almost invariably served sweet. From the railway stations of big cities to small village footpaths, there are countless chaiwallahs whose chai stalls are favourite meeting places. The spice mix can also be used in curries.


1. Dry-roast the cinnamon or cassia, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds and fennel seeds on a griddle pan for 2 minutes. Allow to cool.

2. Add the ginger to the cooled mixture and grind it to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar or in a coffee grinder.

3. Store the completely cooled mixture in an airtight container, in a dark place for up to 6 months.

4. To serve, put the required amount of tea leaves into a warmed teapot, add a pinch of mixture to the pot (allowing approximately ΒΌ teaspoon of spice for every 2 cups of tea), then add boiling water, allow to brew and serve with milk and sugar, if desired.

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