In the US, we’ve come to think of a thick, sweet tea drink with spices as “chai.”   But “masala” is what actually distinguishes “masala chai,” tea with spices, from plain tea.  “Chai masala”  refers to the powdered spice mix used, and you can put a pinch of it in a cup of tea for a quick alternative to cooking lots of masala chai in a pot on the stove.  Like all masalas, most people have their own version of it.  This is how I like my chai masala, without any anise or other licorice-y flavors, and a small hit of pepper.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Mix well and store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, in an airtight container.  Add a pinch to a cup of brewed black tea, and add milk and sweetener.