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5 from 2 votes

Indian Chai tea

The old phrase 'a cup of char' stems from the Asian word for tea, chai or cha. Travelling in India, you hear the singsong call 'chaichaichai' on a loop on the trains, where it is served in small hand-made clay cups. The tracks are littered with shattered clay from disposed cups. Indian chai is always sweet and milky.
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Indian, Kashmiri, Pakistani
Keyword: Chai, English afternoon tea, Karak Chai, Masala Chai


  • 500 ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp loose black tea leaves
  • 75ml condensed milk
  • 1-2 tbsp palm sugar/jaggery

For the Chai masala spice mix

  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods, split
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg


  • First, put together your chai masala mix.
  • Add the boiling water to a pot, along with the tea and the chai masala mix.
  • Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then scoop out the tea unless you like it very strong.
  • Add the condensed milk and the palm sugar or jaggery, to taste.