Thursday, October 1, 2009


Masala Chai

Or "chai tea" as it's commonly referred to in the US. What most people don't know is that moniker's an oxymoron: "chai" means "tea" in many countries, including India. (Trivia: the Japanese word for tea, "-cha", is likely derived from the same term.) What most people are really referring to is masala chai, a popular drink from South Asia. As I understand it, "masala" is a word that refers to a given mixture of spices (chicken tikka masala, a very popular dish in Indian restaurants, refers to a different mix of spices from masala chai, but they both refer to specific mixtures in their own right), so "masala chai" translates to something like "spiced tea".

And while I haven't had the officially official stuff they make in India, I have had some from a couple of Indian restaurants where they didn't use a box mix. Seriously, it's so much better than the stuff you get at Starbucks. I've taken to making it myself at home, and it's really not hard. The worst part was trying to track down cardamom pods where I live, but now that I've done that, I can make as much delicious, creamy, cinnamony, gingery, peppery goodness as I can handle.


  1. Starbucks Chai Tea blows!!! I want your recipe, and I want you to tell me where I can get the cardamom pods. You can't post teasers like this without the follow through. It's not nice.

  2. Well I got my recipe here-- and I modified it a little, since I like mine a little spicier. I usually just add more ginger and peppercorns, maybe sometimes reduce the amount of water.

    As for cardamom pods, I found them at the health food store in town, right next door to the Pasta Company. Buying all the spices in bulk is more economical for me, anyway, and they have some nice tea selections, too.

  3. Thanks Bevin! Time for this bear to have some tea. :)