In this post, you are going to learn how to make fantastic tasting – Ginger chai (Adrak wali chai), Lemongrass chai (Gauti chai) and Spiced Chai (Masala chai)
*This is a guest post by Rashmi Kulkarni. Rashmi has been making superb chai for as long as I can remember. I am a diehard chai fan, and I still remember feeling awed about the taste of her chai some 15 years ago. Today, she is revealing her trick to us. SO take note…*
The recipe below makes some important points about:
- Temperature of milk
- how long to heat + temperature window
- Need for ‘resting’ the tea
Such great tips!! But, before going into the process, let’s look at the 3 flavors listed in the recipe.
The Heavenly Ambrosial drink that is Chai can be made in different flavors that complement the amazing taste of tea.
Ginger chai (Adrak wali chai) is the most popular type of chai made in the Indian subcontinent. The slightly spicy tea has anti-inflammatory properties from the ginger and is commonly made in winter.
To make Ginger chai, add grated ginger (dime-sized ball) for 2 cups. You can use pieces of ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder but freshly grated ginger brings out the flavor the most. Ginger should be added to the water. Boiling water with ginger, sugar and tea leaves before adding milk makes the best ginger chai. Ginger added after milk might cause milk to coagulate.
Lemongrass chai (Gauti chai) has a refreshing mildly lemony flavor. Lemongrass grows well in warm weather and is commonly used in chai during the summer. It has anti-oxidant properties and several other health benefits, not to mention the amazing flavor.
We grow lemongrass at home use it fresh. Lemongrass is available in most grocery stores in the fresh produce section. For 2 cups of chai, we add 1 large leaf or two medium leaves cut into small pieces in the water and boil it with sugar and tea leaves.
Spiced Chai (Masala chai)Masala or Spiced chai has overtones of warm spices infused with tea leaves. Masala can include any of the traditional Indian spices that are Cinnamon, cardamom and/or cloves. Usually, the commercially sold Masala chai has all three in different proportions, sometimes also combined with powdered dry ginger.
At home, people commonly make cardamom chai, adding half a tsp cardamom powder to the water for 2 cups of chai. Cinnamon is used in similar proportions. Cloves can be added directly with 2-4 cloves for 2 cups chai. These spices can be used separately or in combination and boiled with sugar and tea leaves before adding milk.
Detailed instructions on how to make authentic Ginger chai (Adrak wali chai), Lemongrass chai (Gauti chai), Spiced Chai (Masala chai)
- 1.25 cups Water
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Tea Leaves
- Grated ginger (dime-sized balls)
- 1 leaf Lemongrass (1 large leaf or 2 medium leaves cut into pieces)
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 2-4 Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
Boil water and milk separately. You can boil milk in a cup in the microwave. Raw milk used directly in tea tastes like raw milk even after boiling with the tea leaves.
In a pan, boil water along with sugar and tea leaves. Boil the tea on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the color of the tea is dark golden brown. If you prefer strong tea, you can boil it further for a stronger flavor or add 0.5 tsp more tea leaves per cup.
To this mixture, add the previously boiled milk and allow it to boil for 2 more minutes on medium heat. Once the chai starts boiling over, reduce the heat further and leave it on low heat for 1 minute.
Switch off the gas and move the utensil to a cooler surface (like the counter top) and cover it with a lid to allow some condensation. Keep it covered for 5 minutes. Filter the chai in a tea cup and enjoy the refreshing beverage!
The last step of covering the chai after it is removed from the stove-top brings the flavor to the next level. This step can be skipped, but a difference in flavors can be noticed with and without the last step.
For Ginger Tea
You can use pieces of ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder but fresh grated ginger brings out the flavor the most. Ginger should be added to the water. Boiling water with ginger, sugar and tea leaves before adding milk makes the best ginger chai. Ginger added after milk might cause milk to coagulate.
For Masala Tea
Usually the commercially sold Masala chai has all three (Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) in different proportions, sometimes also combined with powdered dry ginger. These spices can be used separately or in combination and boiled with sugar and tea leaves before adding milk.
I am an impatient person, by nature. But, I would patiently wait for Rashmi’s chai to complete the boiling and seeping stage, without a single complaint, because it was soooo worth it!!
I hope you give this recipe a try. Sometimes you need just a few tips and tricks to elevate a simple chai to a fabulous one. Rashmi’s chai recipe does that exactly. Do try it, and post your feedback below without fail. Rashmi and I will be happy to hear from you!!
About the author
Rashmi is a researcher in genetics who loves to create something different. Fed up with constant demands for new dishes, she once asked her two girls whether their kitchen was a restaurant. The answer “yes” from both lead to a wide variety of creations in the kitchen. She now happily believes that “home is the new restaurant” and outings should focus on enriching experiences and not food-centric. She involves her kids in all the healthy cooking.
Looking for snacks to eat with this hot, yummy tea? Try: