Makes 1 litre
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An aromatic blend of various spices grounded by robust black tea and milk, Indian chai, also known as Masala chai has grown to be a popular beverage throughout the world. Prepare it a balanced mixture of cardamom pods, cinnamon, fennel seeds and more – just enough to invite and soothe the senses without being too overwhelming.


  • 5 bruised cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 tsps fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • ⅓ cup grated palm sugar

Bring 10 cloves, 5 bruised cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, thinly sliced 1 cm piece fresh ginger, 2 tsps fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 cups water to the boil in medium saucepan. Cover; simmer 5 mins.


Remove from heat; stand, covered, 10 mins. Return to the boil, add 4 darjeeling teabags; remove from heat. Stand 5 mins.


Meanwhile, heat 2 cups milk in medium saucepan without boiling. Add milk to tea mixture; add ⅓ cup grated palm sugar, stir until dissolved.


Strain mixture into a teapot and serve immediately.

TIP You could also use honey as a sweetener. Be careful not to boil the tea for too long as excessive exposure of tea to heat will release the bitter tannins in the tea leaves.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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