People who love tea have a taste for their typical type of tea. Those who consume it everyday want it to be of a particular taste. Increase the milk or decrease the sugar and you’ll find people saying that it has ruined their entire morning. But if you get the tea right, it sets a happy tone for the rest of the day.
While a regular hot cup of tea is also enjoyed, a masala chai is a great accompaniment on rainy and winter days. A mix of amazing spices from the Indian ayurveda kitchen not only makes the tea taste good but also adds a nice dose of health to it.
Masala chai uses common Indian spices like cloves and cinnamon in varying proportions. Depending on your taste, you can increase or decrease an ingredient that’ll customize your tea. When you taste it somewhere, it feels like someone has infused magic into your tea. Refreshing and delicious, you want to enjoy each sip slowly to take in the flavours.
Incidently, if you want to make masala chai, you can add the whole spices to your tea when you boil the water. But if you don’t want to create a spice mix every time and worry about the varying taste with different quantity of tea or spices, it is quite handy to keep the masala blend ready.
There is no such thing as a standard chai masala in India (unless you buy the packed version from a store). You can use a ‘regular’ chai masala and add a few ingredients now and then to try out their health benefits.
Here’s a list of ingredients that can be used to make your masala chai and their health benefits
- Clove: Reduces inflammation
- Cinnamon: High Source of Antioxidants
- Nutmeg: Is cited to be a brain tonic
- Cardamom: Helps in digestion
- Dry ginger: Helps protect from cough & cold
- Dry basil: Helps build immunity
- Lemon grass: Beneficial in rheumatism
- Ashwagandha: Helps cope with stress
- Mulethi: Helps soothe the throat
- Dry rose petals: Relieves digestive disorders
You can’t use all the ingredients together but you can make a small batch of masala using one set of ingredients and then make the masala again with another complimenting set of ingredients. This adds a good variety to the taste and also allows you to enjoy all the health benefits.
Tea Masala powder
Tea has been considered a medical herb in Indian and even Chinese culture. The Indian masala tea ups the health and healing properties as the addition of a number of spices add to its value. The winters and the monsoon seasons bring a number of ailments like the common cold and chest and throat infections. This masala powder added to the tea works wonders to bring instant relief.
- 2 tablespoons Saunth (Dried Ginger powder)
- 2 tablespoons Green Cardamom
- 1 tablespoon Cloves
- 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
If not having nutmeg powder, grind a nutmeg and use 1 tablespoon, storing the rest for some other use.
Keep a tawa or an iron/nonstick pan for heating on low flame.
Add and dry roast the green cardamoms, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks for about 5 minutes.
Stir them once in awhile so that they get roasted all over.
Remove when done and let cool completely.
Take the roasted whole spices in a mixer jar.
Add the saunth and the nutmeg powder.
Grind to a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container and use as needed.
For added flavor and as a variation, add tulsi leaves while making the tea with the tea masala.