Cardamon Ginger Chai Recipe

I was asked by several folks for my shala chai recipe. This is a recipe from a Gujarati friend, and is the quick morning chai that her mother made every day.


All supplies come from an Indian grocery store, except the organic ginger root. (Organic ginger root has a closer potency and taste to what’s used in India.)

If you want to amplify the caffeine (or you’re facing a busy morning), make the tea base at night, and then add the milk and bring to a boil in the morning.

Here’s the recipe, written for 1 serving. It can easily scale and be made in larger quantities.

1.25 cps. water
1 cp. milk*
2 T. organic fresh ground ginger root**
1 T. Indian “gunpowder tea” ***
1 tsp. green cardamon pods****

1. Bring water and ground ginger root to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Immediately add tea & ground cardamon, and stir. Boil for 1 minute. (Be careful and make sure it doesn’t boil over the pot.)
3. Turn down mixture, and let simmer 5 minutes.
4. After simmer, add milk of your choice, and bring to a boil. (Be careful and make sure it doesn’t boil over the pot.)
5. Immediately strain, using fine mesh strainer, into your cup, adding sugar to taste.
6. OPT: If you want to make it Indian style, add coconut sugar, light muscovado, or light brown sugar to the cup. (Using white sugar doesn’t give it that caramel taste. The darker sugars balance the spices and “corrects” the chai.)

*VEGAN? Use organic unsweetened soy milk. NON-VEGAN? Whole cows milk will be richer tasting, and mimic the taste in India.
**coarsely chopped in a food processor with skin on
***Brooks Red Label or Wagh Bakri brand teas are good choices
****coarsely ground using a coffee grinder or mortar & pestle

Anne Bain

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