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Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea) Recipe

Updated June 25, 2022
I'm going back to basics with my easy masala chai recipe. Masala chai is a milky Indian tea which is flavoured with sugar and spice!
Total Time 10 mins
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two glasses filled with masala chai

Masala chai is a drink which instantly transports me back to my childhood. It was the drink my grandmother would prepare for me every morning, and I would rush downstairs in excitement for. It was the most delicious time of the day, when I would enjoy the warmth and sweetness of the drink through slices of hot, buttery toast.

And yeah, it was pretty awesome.

a flatlay showing cups of chai, a plate of spices, and a small bowl of chai masala

Chai is such a pivotal drink in Indian households – come 4pm, most Indians will enjoy a hot cup of chai and some naasto (Indian savoury snacks). Whilst we do not have this ritual in my house, chai is still a drink we consume daily.

Nowadays, my tea of choice is often PG Tips sans sugar and spices. But every once in a while, I treat myself to a cup of the real deal: proper masala chai.

a cup of chai photographed from above

Masala chai = spiceD tea.

The literal meaning of masala chai is ‘spiced tea’. Chai means tea, and there are many types of chai – masala chai being one of the most popular.

Masala, on the other hand, means spices or spice blend. There are different types of masala, from garam masala to pav bhaji masala, and of course chai masala, which is what we are using today.

Masala chai spices:

The chai masala you will find in most Indian households varies. Some prefer to roast and grind their own chai spices, whilst others will brew the chai with whole spices in it.

chai spices on a plate next to a small bowl of chai masala

In our household, we buy pre-ground chai masala from my cousin’s spice mill – Jalpur Millers. You can buy the chai masala I use here.

The common spices in chai masala are cloves, cardamom, ginger, and peppercorns. You may also see ginger, star anise, fennel seeds, or nutmeg.

chai spices on a plate with text labels showing what the spices are: cloves, star anise, cinnamon and black pepper

Masala Chai ingredients:

To make this masala chai recipe, you’ll need just 5 ingredients:

  • Tea leaves
  • Chai masala
  • Water
  • Milk (of choice)
  • Sugar

Sugar is essential to making perfect masala chai. With all the spices in your chai, it will taste bitter without some sugar!

Tip: To make your chai naturally sweetened, use equal quantities of maple syrup or agave instead of the sugar.

a plate of dried spices and 3 cups of chai

How to make masala chai:

Masala chai is really easy to make. Simply add the tea leaves, chai masala, water, milk of choice, and sugar to a saucepan. Then cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. This allows the tea to brew and the spices to infuse into it.

After about 5 minutes, turn the heat up to medium high. You want to bring the tea to a rapid boil – you should see it rising up the sides of the saucepan. Just as you see the tea reaching the top, turn off the heat. This process makes our chai kadak or strong.

I like to enjoy this authentic masala chai hot with some cookies. You could also serve it with a slice of cake!

a glass of masala chai topped with star anise

If you have chai leftover, you can leave it in the saucepan and reheat when desired – the flavours will only get better. You could also serve cold chai over ice, which is in no way traditional, but in many ways delicious.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, tag me on Instagram @shivanilf so I can see how it goes. You can also keep updated with me on Facebook and Pinterest – I hope to see you there!

a glass of masala chai topped with star anise
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4 from 1 vote

Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea) Recipe

I’m going back to basics with my easy masala chai recipe. Masala chai is a milky Indian tea which is flavoured with sugar and spice!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Shivani Raja


  • 1 cup/ 250 ml Milk of choice
  • 2/3 cup/ 200 ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Sugar or natural sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp Tea Leaves or 2 tea bags
  • 3/4 tsp Chai Masala*


  • Add the milk, water, tea leaves, chai masala and sugar to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  • Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • After 5 minutes, turn the heat up to medium-high and watch the chai boil. Once the chai just rises to the top of the saucepan, turn off the heat.
  • Strain the chai into your favourite mug. Enjoy hot, cookies mandatory.

Shivani’s Tips

*This is the chai masala I use.
Leftover chai can be left in the saucepan and reheated when desired. Alternatively, serve the cold chai over ice!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivani.lovesfood and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!

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I'm going back to basics with my classic masala chai recipe. Masala chai is a milky Indian tea which is flavoured with sugar and spice!
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4 thoughts on “Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea) Recipe”


    4 stars
    Good presentation of the recipe for preparation of masala chai. Adding nutmeg will multiply the taste of the tea excellently.

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