There is no concept of Chai Tea Latte in India. Seriously! Now that Starbucks is mushrooming up at every nook and corner of the country, you may see chai tea latte on their menu. But forget about Starbucks when you are visiting India. Try the Masala Chai instead.., served and sold by Chai Wallahs or the tea vendors all over India. Originating in India, chai has hit coffee and tea houses worldwide and become a new trendy beverage!
As all of you may know, Chai means ‘tea’ and the word chai comes from the Chinese word – chá. Masala Chai is pre-dominantly Indian though. It’s made by adding a blend of spices and sugar to black tea.
I’m a coffee drinker but when I’m at home, I invariably make myself cups of Masala Chai to enjoy. In India, every time of the day is a chai time. You are bored and want to break the monotony…, go for a cup of Masala Chai. You are studying late into the night and need to stay up…, go for a cup of Masala Chai. You have friends over., greet them with cups of Masala Chai. Masala Chai is just not a beverage., it’s a way of life. In my family, Masala Chai is made numerous times of the day serving the stream of relatives who stream in and out.
There are various Chai blends available everywhere but trust me, there is nothing like trying your own masala chai at home and the taste is much better and extremely flavorful.
Here is the recipe that I have been using for years now to make my Masala Chai
- 2 cups water
- Sugar per taste
- ¼ cup whole milk (or, more if you like it more milky)
- 3 TBSP Loose Black Tea
- ½ inch cinnamon stick – crushed roughly
- 1 TBSP Cardamom Powder
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 TBSP Crushed Ginger
- Boil the water with the spices for 3 to 4 minutes
- Reduce the heat and let the water simmer
- Add sugar and tea leaves and boil for 2 more minutes
- Add Milk and let the mixture boil for another 2 to 3 minutes
- Pour the prepared tea though a sieve into cups
When you have your Masala Chai ready.., you will realize that how versatile this beverage can be. Move over Coffee Cakes. Now cakes flavored with chai spices are trending big. All I have done in this recipe is that, I used previously prepared masala chai as a wet ingredient. I also added a the contents of an earl grey tea bag in the dry ingredients to give the cake extra tea flavor.
To keep matters healthy.., I used the Greek Honey Yogurt as the glaze.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 chai tea bag (I used the Earlgrey Tea Bag)
- 7 TBSP Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Masala Chai
- 1 TSP Rose Water or Vanilla Essence
- 1 egg (room temp) or 1/4 cup of mashed banana if you want to make it eggless
- 1 TSP crushed Cardamom
- 1 cup Honey Greek yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s Honey Yogurt. If you don’t have honey yogurt available, use plain Greek yogurt and add ½ cup sugar to it)
- ½ cup milk
- Fresh Blackberries or any other berries (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Butter your cake pan
- In a medium bowl combine flour, Sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and contents of tea bag.
- Whisk these all together and form a well in the center.
- Pour in oil, Masala Chai, Vanilla/Rose essence and the egg.
- Use a fork to lightly beat the egg and then slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Do not over mix. If using mashed banana to replace egg then lightly mix the mashed banana into the mixture.
- Pour into the cake pan. Sprinkle the crushed Cardamom on top and Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, let cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Stir yogurt and milk together in small bowl to make the glaze and garnish with fresh berries