CHAI! Who doesn't adore chai? Well, I'm a fan, and this homemade ginger masala chai is my morning beverage of choice for the wintry weekend mornings on their way.
Why ginger masala chai? A local coffee shop featured a gingery chai latte in their seasonal rotation. One sip in and I knew I would have to recreate that sharp, spicy flavor at home.
Having never made true masala chai at home, I went searching for basic recipes. And I discovered something. You know how in the US, we call the drink "chai" and leave it at that? We all have an understanding of what we're getting when we order a chai at a coffee shop. But we're terribly wrong.
You see, "chai" means milk tea. Just tea and milk! Actually, the drink we're all thinking of is masala chai, or spiced milk tea. Pretty fascinating stuff, huh? Until I started poking around on the internet, I assumed "masala chai" was just a fancy version of that beloved drink. And while you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet...
As you may have guessed, I use extra ginger in my chai. Quite a bit of extra ginger, in fact. It's all to give the drink a wonderfully rustic flavor. In many recipes for masala chai I've seen, fresh ginger slices are used. In my version, I chopped the ginger up to try and expose more surface area. It helped immensely. My ideal cup of chai features the pungent, spicy flavor of ginger.
Homemade masala chai is crazy simple. To be honest, that shouldn't have surprised me. Since spending more time in the kitchen, I've experienced time and time again how shockingly easy (and often, better) homemade can be. Ghee, nut milk, and nut and seed butters are all excellent examples of that.
Nowadays, I almost always opt for homemade...unless, of course, I'm just too busy and I'm willing to pay a premium.
My favorite part of this ginger masala chai recipe is the yield. I can brew a batch of masala chai from a handful of spices and enjoy cup after cup on a lazy Sunday. Or I can share it with company. And if we run out? No big deal. We can whip up another batch in less than 20 minutes!
At this point, you may be wondering where to get the whole spices required for this recipe. Many grocery stores have a bulk spices section, so check there.
For example, I buy all my bulk spices at my local Natural Grocers—their bulk selection (and prices) are insanely good! Plus, keeping a big bag of bulk spices means you can make homemade chai whenever the mood strikes you. Otherwise, there's always Amazon. *wink*Print
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin rounds, & roughly chopped (about ¼ cup chopped)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods, smashed
- 6 pieces star anise OR 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 6 cups water
- 6 bags of black tea OR 6 teaspoons loose-leaf black tea
- 3 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons raw honey (optional, but recommended)
- Combine ginger, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, and star anise in a medium saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, keeping the pan partially covered.
- Add almond milk and honey. Whisk until honey completely dissolves. Remove from heat. Add the tea bags or loose-leaf tea and steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a teapot or individual mugs and serve hot. If it's not sweet enough for you, add additional honey to sweeten to taste.
- Serving Size: 2 cups
Keywords: Ginger Masala Chai Latte