Indian Masala Chai Recipe





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A fail-proof Indian Masala Chai recipe that anyone can make at home. Also known as Chai Tea it is an energising,  refreshing milky tea made with spices and fresh ginger. 


There is no Indian street that runs longer than 5 kms without a quaint, shanty looking ‘Chai Stall’ somewhere!!

It is one of those beverages that Indians just can’t do without, regardless of any socio-economic status!!

Indian Masala chai is a flavour that binds the entire nation together.

What is Masala Chai?

An authentic masala chai is a sweet Indian milk tea brewed on low flame till the smell of milk & black tea leaves infused with spices fills the air, before being poured into small shot glasses.

OOh, the joy of wrapping your hands around the hot cup or glass (if at the stall) and sniffing through the exotic smell is an emotionally engulfing experience in itself without even taking the first sip.

A Typical Indian Street Side Tea Stall

If you are a coffee shop ‘Chai Latte’ fan then I highly recommend you to try the authentic Indian spice tea experience and understand the story behind Indian chai tea latte.

Besides the intoxicating aroma, drinking masala tea has benefits too!

Ingredients For Masala Chai

Like most Indian dishes there is no set authentic masala chai recipe.

Each one or households have different way of making Indian masala tea.

Some use 2-3 spices while others can add as many as 8 – 9 different spices.

The one thing constant in most Indian chai recipes is the use of fresh ginger, green cardamom, and milk.

Below is a list of whole spices used popularly used to make an authentic chai.

You can choose to add any of the spices listed below in addition to fresh ginger and black tea leaves:


Black tea leaves 

Fresh ginger 




Bay leaves

Black Cardamon (Click to know what is back cardamom)

Cloves  (Click for uses of cloves )


Green Cardamom

Fennel seeds (Click for fennel seed uses)

Ginger powder

Mint leaves


Star anise

Start making your own Indian chai recipe by choosing 2 to 3 different spices at a time or more if you prefer . With different combinations you will finally get to your most favourite  homemade chai tea masala or spice tea mix that you can make and repeat.

Most of the spices listed above are winter warming spices that build your immunity and help keep cold and cough at bay.  

Refer to cooking notes below for substitute options and tips.

How to Make Masala Tea at Home

Below is the step by step process of making Indian chai tea at home.


Select your spices and roughly crush them to release flavour.

Indian masala chai spices in mortar and pestel


Add 2 1/2 cups of water to a pan, bring to warm and add the spices and ginger to the water. Boil for 3 mins

Spices tea with water in pot



Add black tea leaves and milk and continue to boil until it becomes slightly thick in consistency

Indian milky masala chai


Add sugar or your chosen sweetener to taste, strain and serve hot.

Indian spice tea in a cup

Cooking Notes And FAQ’s

The method of making  masala chai is more or less the same across all recipes.

However one can easily alter the proportion, spices, sugar type and boiling time as per your own liking.

Spicy masala chai originates from Northern India, where they like to make their tea spicy, sweet and very milky.

But this recipe can be easily adapted to suit your personal preference.

Here are few tips and alternatives for you to make your cup of Indian spice tea:

What Spices to Use for Making Indian Spice Tea?

  1. Choose from any of the spices listed above. Gently crush or break the spices in a mortal and pestle to release the oils before adding to boiling water.
  2. Spice proportion to use for making one cup of tea – Use only 1 of each spice for making 1 cup of tea.  1/2 inch or less of cinnamon stick and ginger. Half teaspoon for whole seeds spices or powdered spices.

What Type of Tea Leaves are Best For Authentic Indian Chai ?

  1. The Indian spice tea is made using loose black tea leaves. You can buy them from any Indian store if you have access to one or maybe in the tea section of a large supermarket. 
  2. Any black tea bags such as English breakfast, Yorkshire tea, Lipton Yellow label also work well.

tea leave for making masala chai

What Is The Best Sugar Substitutes for Masala Chai?

  1. Indian Masala Chai is normally sweet but you can choose to have it without sugar.
  2. A healthy substitute for sugar are Palm sugar, sweetner, jaggery and honey. I have read recipes with maple syrup as well. 

Can You Use Lactose Free Milk ?

You can easily substitute normal milk with almond milk, hemp milk for a lactose free masala chai. 

You should be fine as long as the the milk does not have a strong taste or smell. 

Can I make milk-free Indian  Masala Tea?

Yes you can. But in doing so limit the number and quantity of spices used as well as the amount of tea leaves. 

Also do not over boil the water for too long. Boiling water with spices and tea leaves for 5 minutes should work fine. 

What is the Ideal Water and Milk ratio for Masala Chai?

  1. Always add more than 1 cup of water for making one cup of tea since the spices need time to boil in water.
  2. If you like your tea milky then use 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup milk and boil till it reduces to 1 cup
  3. For a lighter less milky version – add 1/4 cup milk at the end and let it warm up in boiling water before pouring out.

Where to buy Spices online?

Not sure if you can get all the spices listed in the recipe.

Buying all kinds of fresh spices cant get easier than buying them through online store at The Spice House and get them delivered to you directly.


Click here to discover the world of flavors at


Indian masala chai recipe pinterest image


Recipe Card



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Black Tea Leaves - 4 tsp
Water - 4 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 inch
Green Cardamon - 3 pods
Fennel seeds - 2 tsps
Mint leaves - 5
Palm sugar - 2 tsp (optional)
*Ingredients Needed


Prepare the Masala Chai Spice Mix
In a mortal and pestle lightly crush the ginger, green cardamons and fennel seeds and set aside.
Boil Tea
Put 4 1/2 cups water in a deep bottomed pan.
Just before the water starts to boil add tea leaves and the spices to it.
When it come to a full boil add the mint leaves and bring it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add milk and continue to boil for another 1 - 2 minutes.
Add some extra milk in small portions if you think the colour is too dark.
Add sugar and stir it in well.
Remove from heat, strain tea through a strainer and serve hot.