There's this cozy little tradition I picked up from an Indian friend that's become my own slice of comfort—masala chai. It's like a warm, spicy hug in a cup. The recipe? A handful of spices that could tell stories of ancient markets and bustling streets: cinnamon, peppercorns, tulsi leaves, fennel, cloves, cardamom, and a dusting of ginger powder.
All the wonderful spices...
A tiny grating of nutmeg joins the mix, and together, they're a testament to the power of good company and shared recipes.
Making this chai feels less like cooking and more like a small ceremony. As the water boils and the spices begin their dance, there's a kind of alchemy that happens. The kitchen fills with a scent that's at once exotic and familiar, a reminder of friendships that stretch across oceans.
There is nothing like toasting your own spice blend...
When it's time to pour in the frothy milk, which could be a cloud of oat milk on some days, the transformation is complete. It's a simple pleasure, one that ties a thread from my friend’s Indian roots to my own home in Singapore.
This might be a wonderful holiday gift...
So, let's take this journey together, one spice-laden, comforting sip at a time. Whether it's to start the morning with intention or to pause in the afternoon's rush, this masala chai is here to wrap you up in its warmth. Ready to brew some magic? Let’s get started with the recipe.
Cinnamon Stick, 4g
Black Peppercorns, 10g
Fennel Seeds, 5g
Green Cardamoms, 20g
Dried Tulsi, 5g
Ginger Powder, 15g
Black Tea Leaves, 8g
Boiling Water, 500g
Milk or Oat Milk, For Frothing
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Prepare the masala.
Add everything, except for tulsi, ginger powder and nutmeg, into a skillet over medium heat.
Toast until aromatic.
Transfer to a spice grinder, along with tulsi, ginger powder and freshly grated nutmeg.
Give it a few pulses until coarse ground forms.
*Do not take it too far.*
Prepare the chai.
Add tea leaves and 1 TBSP of that masala to a tea pot. I am using my Hario ChaCha Kyusu Maru teapot.
Pour in boiling water and steep for 5 to 8 mins.
In the meantime, froth some milk.
Pour the tea into a serving glass.
Followed by the froth milk.