This is real-deal Indian chai. For good-sized mugs, the general rule I use is about 1 cup water & 1 cup milk per mug of chai.
This recipe should make 2-3 mugs of chai.
If you scale the recipe, use 1 more tea bag than you have people drinking.
- 3 black tea bags (Tea India is good, but Lipton or loose tea would work)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 “thumb” of fresh or frozen whole ginger
- 4-5 whole cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp whole fennel seeds
- ~1 tbsp coarsely-chopped fresh/frozen/dried lemongrass (optional)
- If possible, lightly crush the cardamom and fennel seeds before beginning
- Peel and slice the ginger.
- In a saucepot, bring the water, ginger, cardamom, and fennel to a boil. If using lemongrass, add it too.
- Add teabags.
- After 20-30 seconds, add the milk.
- Stir slowly but continuously as the chai comes back to boiling.
- The chai will begin to boil and foam up. When the foam starts to rise, take the pot off the burner and stir the foam away.
- Repeat the on burner→chai starts to foam up→off burner cycle 2 to 3 times. This is important for the flavor.
- Strain into cups, add 1-2 spoons of sugar per mug.