HOMEMADE CHAI // three ways
In India, the word "chai" means "tea" -- as in, literally any type of tea. This was very confusing for me at first, since I love American chai lattes. After a few confusing false starts, I've found three different "chai" variations that I love.


VANILLA CHAI LATTE // This is a great quencher for Starbucks cravings, since the flavor mimics their chai tea latte -- but better, since you can alter the amount of milk and sugar as desired.

Recipe adapted from A Pair of Pears

1 cup milk*
1 cup almond milk*
1 chai tea bag
1/4 tsp vanilla
Sugar to taste

Bring milk and almond milk to a boil in a saucepan, then pour into a mug. Let the tea bag soak for 5 or so minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Add vanilla and sugar to taste. If you're feeling fancy, use a milk frother to create a real latte-like texture.

*You can really make this with any combination of milk types, or even add water to dilute the milk more. In addition to changing the taste, note that the more milk you have in the drink, the more it will froth up.

INDIAN "RAILWAY" CHAI // This type of tea is that is served in India by vendors on train station platforms (and elsewhere), so I've taken to calling it "railway" chai. I'm not sure if anyone in India actually calls it that, but it's very common and incredibly easy to make.

Recipe from my mother-in-law, Sudha!

1 cup water*
1 cup milk*
2-3 black tea bags (I use Tetley)
Sugar to taste

Bring water and milk to a boil, while dangling the tea bags into the mixture. When the tea is as dark as you want, pour the mixture into a mug and sweeten as desired.

*As with the vanilla chai latte, you can modify the milk:water ratio as desired -- I usually do either a 1:1 or 2:1 mixture.

MASALA CHAI // This tea is both spicy and sweet, making it perfect for snack time with samosas. :)

Adapted from A Cup of Jo and Journey Kitchen

2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, cracked
2 whole cloves
5 whole black peppers
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1 whole star anise
2 tbs loose leaf black tea (I used Darjeeling)
2 cups milk
Sugar to taste (I used 1 tbs)

Bring water, spices, and tea to a boil in a saucepan. Add milk and sugar and bring to a boil again. This makes the tea dark enough for me, but you can definitely boil it a bit longer if you prefer. Remove the tea from the heat, strain, and enjoy!

xo Diana

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