There are a thousand and one variations of this tea and they are all worth trying.
Source: Countless generations of Indian wisdom
Ingredients for about 4 people
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 20 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1 cloves, whole
- ½ star anise pod (optional)
- 8 peppercorns, whole — white preferred
- 1 inch of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons loose black tea
- 2 tablespoons sugar, honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup milk or alternative
- Place cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise, ginger, peppercorns and water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until water level has reduced by at least a quarter. [Note: For a spicier chai, simmer longer until water level is closer to half of the original but start with an extra cup of water.]
- Return pot to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids, then return liquid to the pot.
- Stir in the sweeterner and milk and heat over low heat for 1 minute.
- Pour into cups and serve.
- Note: More ginger and more peppercorns will make it hotter. More cardamom and star anise will give it a stronger licorice taste.