Masala Chai: Spiced tea, for a fall day

By  Ratna


‘Did  you  notice  the  leaves  turning  yellow?”  commented  J,  my  colleague  at  work.  That  was  middle  of  August.  “You  are  not  saying  what  you  are  saying,  are  you?’  I  retorted.  I  strengthened  my  argument  by  putting  forward  the  other  causes  of  leaves  turning  yellow,  for  example  drought.  Who  was  I  kidding  though.  I  knew  for  certain  that  it  was  the  beginning  of  fall.  It  didn’t  matter  that  people  were  still  on  summer  holidays,  that  the  snow  just  melted  not  that  long  ago  or  even  the  official  ‘fall’  was  still  more  than  a  month  away.  This  was  northern  Canada.  It  is  said  if  you  blink  long  enough  you  may  miss  the  summer!


Come  September  there  was  no  denying  that  it  was  not  drought  that  caused  the  yellow  leaves,  the  summer  was  done  for  this  year.  There  was  a  chill  in  the  air.  Vegetable  gardens  were  harvested,  apple  pies  were  baked,  fleece  jackets  were  back  and  Costco  proudly  displayed  their  Halloween  supplies.

untitled-3untitled-5Now  Chai  ( Tea ),  doesn’t  need  a  season  to  be  enjoyed.  There  is  no  denying  the  magic  of  a  hot  cup  of  tea  on  a  cold  day  though.  N  and  I  packed  some  tea  and snacks  before  we  went  out  for  a  short  drive  to  take  in  the  colours  of  fall.  There was  yellow  and  red  and  everything  in  between.  It  was  as  if  the  nature’s  way  to  go  on  an  overdrive   with  colours,  for  the  next  six  months  will  be  only  white,  and  more  white.  The  calm  before  the  storm…


Tea  is  something  that  memory  is  made  out  of.  Who  can  forget  the  the  night  of  burning  midnight  oil  to  prepare  for  the  exam  next  morning,  when  the  cup  of  tea  is  your  loyal  friend.  Tea  is  needed  to  start  the  day,  at  the  end  of  a  hard  day’s  work.  What  about  that  boring  day  when  nothing  seems  to  be  in  your  favour?  Tea  is  what  we  break  a  bad  news  over  or  break  the  ice  with.  I  can’t  forget  how  as  teenagers  we  giggled  just  because  our  Uncle  R  slurped  his  tea  or  Aunty  P  blew  her  hot  tea  so  hard  that  we  all  avoided  sitting  next  to  her  to  save  our  dresses!

Here  it  is  friends.  This  is  how  we  enjoy  the  cuppa!



Serves  2.


Tea  bags  ( Lipton’s  yellow  label )                                  Two

Cardamom  pods,  crushed                                              Two

Evaporated  milk                                                              Half  cup

Cinnamon  sticks                                                              Two

Granulated  Sugar                                                            Two  tsps

Water                                                                              One  and  half  cup


Bring  the  water  with  the  crushed  cardamom  to  boil,  about  4  minutes.  Throw  in  the  tea  bags,  continue  boiling  for  another  2   minutes..  Add  the  milk.  The  boiling  will  stop  temporarily.  Bring  it  to  boil  again,  about  a  minute,  taking  care  not  to  let  the  mixture  spill  over.  Turn  the  gas  to  medium  and  get  another  boil,  if  needed  turn  the  gas  lower  to  avoid  the  spill.

In  a  mug  take  a  teaspoon  of  sugar.  Pour  the  tea  into  the  mug  through  a  sieve.  Garnish  with  a  Cinnamon  stick  and  serve  piping  hot.

Take  away  the  cinnamon  stick  before  drinking.

Inside  Scoop;

White  sugar  can  be  substituted  with  Palm  sugar,  honey,  Splenda,  brown  sugar  or  any  other  sweetener  of  your  choice.

Grated  ginger  can  be  added  with  the  boiling  water  for  Adrak  ( Ginger  )  tea.

Every  family  has  their  favourite  blend  of  spice.  Apart  from  cardamom  and  cinnamon,  mace  or  even  a  combination  of  spices  are  sometimes  added.

Try  and  adjust  to  your  taste.

I  prefer  evaporated  milk  or  Homo  milk.  One  can  also  go  with  cream.


4 thoughts on “Masala Chai: Spiced tea, for a fall day

  1. I love the mood of this post, Ratna. The enamelware props with the cinnamon sticks you used adds a romantic element to the autumn day. Love Canada everyday of the year. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  2. This Chai tea looks delicious , and so perfect for Autumn weather. Even though I am in the Southern Hemisphere and we are just entering summer, chia is my tea of choice. I love your fall images Ratna, you live in such a beautiful place.

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