Recipes > Masala Chai

Masala Chai


Masala Chai is an Indian tea infused with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and cloves.
  • Serves: 6
  • Active Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Views: 46,003
  • Success Rating: 96% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Chai

Making the Chai
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 pieces dried orange peel - can substitute with 1 piece fresh zest
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 to 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tea bags (orange pekoe)


Combine the milk with the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

*Note: For a non-dairy Chai, use either almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk instead of regular milk.

Add the cloves,cardamom pods,star anise, orange peel, cinnamon stick, sugar, black pepper and ginger. Whisk everything together and bring to a slight boil. Lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for about 5 minutes.

Raise the heat and return to a boil. Immediately add the teabags and turn off the heat. Allow to steep for about 2 or 3 minutes. Once steeped, strain and serve.

Chef's Notes

This tea is a great pick-me-up any time of the day or is even a nice way to finish a meal.

Chai will keep for quite a few days in the refrigerator and is also great served cold over ice.

Most people that have tried Chai tend to have a preference as to how they like it. Feel free to play around with the spices to find the right blend for you.


  • Jason L
    Jason L
    I love chai, so this was the first recipe I tried from Rouxbe. Turned out great, very simple to make, not as spicy as most chai's I've had. I'd increase the steeping time for the spices and will probably bump up the amount of spice next time. I've also put all everything except for the milk, sugar and tea in sachets, so all I have to do is put those into the simmering milk and I just remove the sachets & teabags in the end (I hate washing strainers) ...
  • Mohamed B
    Mohamed B
    I made this Chai this morning, and it was quite nice. My girlfriend suggested that I use evaporated milk instead of the normal milk, since that is what most Indian chefs use when making the Chai. It was quite amazing. I also used a larger quantity of the spices, which gave it more of a kick.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    This is great on ice. Just let it cool and then shake it in a Martini shaker with ice. Then pour into a large glass filled with fresh ice. Yum! I also think that I would like it with evaporated milk as Mohamed mentioned. As for making it spicier, it is a personal preference really. Make it once and you will then be able to determine whether you want it spicier or not. This one is more mellow to please the masses!
  • Antigoni P
    Antigoni P
  • Jeff H
    Jeff H
    I love this with skim milk and I make it often enough to add a custom group to my SparkPeople account. Seeing as I drink 8 oz at a time, that's three servings per recipe. I might just need to start doubling it, though. :D I use loose tea leaves - usually english breakfast, but sometimes earl grey - giving it more zest. I also use a full teaspoon of peppercorns to spice mine up.
  • Noemi R
    Noemi R
    I'm going to try it with Lactaid Milk! Recipe looks delicious!
  • Suzanne C
    Suzanne C
    Do you think adding a vanilla bean with the rest of the spices would be making 'vanilla chai'. Open the vanilla pod and add the seeds into the tea? Vanilla extract? How do they do it in India? Do they make vanilla chai in India?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I say give it a try even if they don't make it in India (which they might). You can either add the vanilla pod or use some pure extract, as you suggested. Cheers!
  • Melanie B
    Melanie B
    Toast the whole spices for 2 minutes on medium heat. Then add the ginger. Remove from the heat once the ginger starts to turn golden. The dry heat brings out the essential oils and really took this tea to the next level. Great recipe!
  • Melanie B
    Melanie B
    That added another level of flavor.
  • Brenda L
    Brenda L
    This recipe was quite a bit different than how I usually do it, BUT I really enjoyed it. Before I used just milk, no water, and ground the spices first. It was always a pain to strain but so yummy it was worth it. This way with the H2O it's thinner but came out great. Toasting the spices first is a great idea. I used the full tsp.of ginger and peppercorns for the perfect combination of spices & simmered it for 10 min. Instead of 5. My Indian friends would approve I'm sure. You can use lots of other spices like cumin & coriander just make sure your spices are whole and fresh to start, no ground cinnamon , ginger,ect. Toast to the toasting suggestion & Honey do! Penzy's is a great source for the lot!
  • Linda R
    Linda R
    I am new to tea making. While simmering and steeping, cover the saucepan? Does covering have any affect on the flavor or evaporation rate?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can keep the lid off or put it on when the spices are added. Because the liquid gently simmers for a short period of time (only 5 minutes), it won't evaporate substantially. If you choose to steep the ingredients for longer, you can cover the pot. Just make sure the heat is very low and stir from time to time so the milk doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pot. The lid can be placed on the pot after the tea has been added and the heat is turned off (just to keep it warm while it steeps). Cheers!
  • Andrea N
    Andrea N
    CAn I use the powder instead of whole, cardamom and cinnamon... ? what other tea bags as alternative?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Andrea, yes, you can use ground spices. However, decrease the quantity by 1/2 or so. You'll need to experiment to adjust the proportions. As for tea, I recommend most any black tea.
  • Marisol S
    Marisol S
    The plant based milk curdled when I made the tea. How do I prevent this from happening?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Marisol: Thanks for writing. Not sure which plant-milk you used. Generally, add the milk, first, then slowly pour the tea into the cup. It will help to temper the milk and bring it to the temperature of the tea. It should prevent curdling. I hope this helps for your next "cuppa." Cheers, Char
  • Love H
    Love H
    Hi, do you know if there would be a big difference in taste, depending on using ceylon cinnamon or just "cinnamon"? :)
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Love, Cinnamomum verum, which appears like a roll of thin layers that can be crumbled with the fingers, offers a relatively 'soft' flavor. Whereas, Cinnamomum cassia, which appears thicker and is much harder, has a stronger, robust flavor. The difference is noticeable in a side-by-side comparison. ~Eric

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