2 cinnamon sticks
12 green cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
2 cups 500 ml) boiling water
1/2 inch (1.25 cm) piece ginger, freshly grated
8 teaspoons (40 ml) dark, full-bodied tea (such as Assam)
2 cups (500 ml) milk
8 teaspoons (40 ml) brown or granulated sugar
1. Crush the spices (except the ginger) with a mortar and pestle and place them in a saucepan. Heat the spices, then add boiling water and ginger and allow to boil for 15 minutes.
2. Add the tea, milk and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to infuse for 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the amount of sugar if desired, or allow to infuse longer for a more full-bodied drink.
3. Strain the mixture and serve.
Note: The main spice used in chai is cardamom. You can substitute the others with pepper, fennel or cloves. There are as many different ways to prepare chai as there are Indians in India!