Masala Chai is a delightful drink concocted originally in India by brewing black tea leaves with milk and a mixture of spices i.e. cinnamon, ginger, cardamom peppercorn, and cloves. It was used in India thousands of years back for medicinal purposes due to the high healing powers of the spice mixture. It has become a very popular beverage around the world today. There are ready-made packaged chai teas available in stores everywhere, but there is nothing better than brewing your own fresh cup of Masala Chai, especially during the holiday seasons!! Each of the spices that make up the Masala Chai not only has individual healing properties, but they all work in synergy to fight inflammation and free radicals in our bodies. You would be surprised how beneficial this drink is to your body:
- The high contents of anti-oxidants in the spices help fight cold & flu as well as keep our bodies warm during the cold days.
- The anti-microbial properties in Masala Chai are said to help ease an upset stomach and improve digestion, hence it also helps to eliminate bad breath caused by poor digestive health.
- The spiced drink can be a great remedy for sore throat & losing your voice.
- The caffeine level in black tea is not as high as coffee, but the combination of the spices paired with a bit of stimulant like caffeine can help boost your energy & metabolism, revitalize the body, and beat fatigue after a long hard day or training. Olympic athletes are said to consume Masala Chai instead of painkillers and other banned drugs to beat fatigue and ease muscle pains.
- The tannins found in black tea helps regulate one’s heart rate and blood pressure while spices like clove and cardamom help reduce levels of bad cholesterol and improve the amount of good cholesterol, which in turn help reduce the chances of artery blocks and other heart diseases.
What you will need to make Masala Chai:
- 3-4 cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 whole cloves
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 2-3 dates, chopped
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp Aniseed/ Saunf / fennel seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup almond milk (sweetened)
- 1/2 cup regular milk (use all almond milk for vegan version)
- 2 heaping tablespoons of loose black tea leaves (Darjeeling or Assam)
- honey or vanilla sugar (optional for more sweetness)
- Tea Strainer
Total Time needed: 15 minutes
Yields about 2-3 servings
Add water in a pot along with crushed cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dates, nutmeg powder, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the spices infuse their flavors for another 5 minutes.
Add the milk and almond milk to the pot and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea leaves. Cover the pot, remove from heat and let it steep for 5 minutes.
Masala Chai is ready! Use a tea strainer and pour the liquid into a teapot or directly into serving mugs.
Add honey or vanilla sugar if you like it sweeter. Since there is no right or wrong recipe for Masala Chai, everyone can have their own variation of the tea based on their own taste and formula.
Try fueling up before & revitalize after your bike ride or workout with a cup of Masala Chai!