Recipe: The Perfect Chai Tea

I should probably mention that being of Pakistani heritage, if there's one thing we know how to do well, it's a perfect cup of chai. And I'm not talking about that weak, sugar filled Starbucks rubbish. I mean, full on, wholesome, delicately spiced chai that warms you up from the inside from your head to your toes and you get that tingle all over... There is a never a bad time for chai and here's my recipe for the perfect cup!

You're going to need:

  • 1/2 cup milk (full fat please! If you're being a health guru, then fine, you can use something non-dairy, but it won't taste the same)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp. loose tea (you want black tea leaves - see here - if you have any Indian or Pakistani stores near you, you should be able to find black loose leaf tea there, or check the world food aisle in your local supermarket)
  • 1 whole black peppercorn
  • 1/2 inch of dried ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamom seed

To make the tea:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan. Place over medium heat. Allow to heat until small bubbles appear around the perimeter of the milk. Stir the chai, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Bring to a boil once again, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Strain carefully into a cup, and serve.