Food & Drink Editor Anisah Qazi shares her personal recipe for a steaming cup of spiced chai!

Written by Anisah Qazi
2nd year English Literature student and Redbrick Food&Drink Editor.

Chai is a popular Indian spiced tea which is infused with warm spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Here is my personal, tried and tested chai recipe.

“A popular Indian spiced tea which is infused with warm spices…”



  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 or 2-inch ginger 
  • Pinch of fennel seeds 
  • 2 cloves (can replace with star anise)
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tea bags
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar or honey
  • 1 mug of milk 
  • 1 mug of water


  • Pour the water into a pan and turn heat up to boil 
  • Whilst it is heating up, add in the cinnamon, fennel seeds and cloves. 
  • Break the cardamom pods by placing them on a flat surface and pressing down with the flat of a knife, one by one. The pods should be split with the brown seeds visible or falling out. 
  • Place the cardamom pods with all the seeds into the pan.
  • Shave an inch of ginger by thinly cutting away the skin. Cut the inch of ginger into halves and drop into the pan.
  • Let the spices boil in the water for five minutes. The cardamom pods should lose their colour and turn pale.
  • Then turn down the heat to a simmer, rip the tea bags and pour the contents into the water.
  • When tea leaves boil they begin to release a bitter taste, so add in your sugar or honey at this stage. If using honey, bear in mind that the honey’s flavour will impact the taste of the chai, so choose one that is rich and deep in flavour or stick with sugar.
  • Next add in the milk, the ratio should be about 1:1 milk to water.
  • Stir and bring back up to boil. Stay by the stove to make sure that it does not boil over. You will need to boil it for about 10-15 minutes. Stir as necessary. During this time the milk will denature and a skin should form along with foam on the top of the tea. 

“Great for both morning and evening indulgence!”

  • Once the skin has formed, the tea has turned to a pink-brown colour, and it smells delicious, it is ready to take off the heat!
  • Pour the tea through a sieve into your mugs, this will catch all of the tea leaves and spices to leave you with two steaming and smooth cups of chai!
  • For extra brownie points, pour the tea high above the sieve, this will help to cool the chai down.

I find that this chai is best enjoyed with a helping of biscuits (especially ginger snaps), and is great for both morning and evening indulgence!

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