One of the best ways to start your day is with a hot cup of chai boosted with the spicy kick of fresh ginger. Laced with a dash of milk and optionally sweetened, this 3 ingredient Ginger Chai is my daily dose of vitality and is ready in under 10 minutes.
The original recipe posted in Nov 2019 has been updated with new photos and a video
What is Ginger Chai
Indian Ginger Chai is quite simply, an aromatic concoction of freshly brewed tea infused with grated ginger root. Laced with milk and optionally sweetened, it makes for your daily dose of comforting goodness that will help to keep you warm and energetic. It also works great to soothe sore throats, and facilitate the healing of common colds.
Back home in India, tea is a popular beverage enjoyed in the mornings as well as afternoons. Cutting Chai, or half a cup of tea is readily available in roadside Tapris (food stalls). Indian Chai is different from herbal teas, as it is simmered for a longer time to reach perfection and is usually enjoyed with milk.
Adrak Chai (ginger tea), Elaichi Chai (cardamom tea), Masala Chai (superior cousin of Chai tea or Chai latte), etc. are some of the popular flavors. Oftentimes, spices (ginger, cardamom, black pepper, etc) and herbs (lemon grass, mint, etc) are mixed together too, for e.g. Ginger-Cardamom-lemongrass Chai.
Chai in India means tea. So, when you say “Chai Tea”, you are literally saying “Tea Tea”, something that my boys always point out and giggle about when we go to our local Starbucks.
- Black Tea – Loose-leaf black tea powder or tea leaves – I love Wagh Bakri Chai. If you prefer tea bags, use Tetley British Blend
- Milk – I use low-fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc. For creamier chai use more milk than water
- Ginger – I recommend using Organic Indian Ginger available in Indian grocery stores or Whole Foods that has sharper and more pronounced flavors. Ginger helps boost the immune system in addition to many other health benefits.
How to Make Ginger Chai
- Add water to a medium saucepan and keep it on medium-high heat.
- Add black tea and fresh ginger and bring it to a full boil as it gradually takes on a deep reddish-brown color.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add milk and bring the tea to a full boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat off or allow it to simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes. Additional boiling time will make stronger tea.
- Using a strainer filter the tea into 2 cups. Add sugar, honey, or sweetener of your choice. Enjoy hot!
As you take the first sip of this beautiful golden-brown piping hot beverage, the ginger leaves a subtle, invigorating flavor in your mouth.
I often get asked how “my chai” is different from Chai tea or Chai Latte which is readily available at several coffee shops. Indian chai is made in many different ways, and it’s interesting how each one of us is fiercely protective of our own brewing technique. While tea leaves, milk, and sweetener are almost always standard ingredients, the intense flavor imparting spices and herbs, water-to-milk ratio and simmering time sets one chai apart from the other.
- Boiling the tea for a long time after adding milk makes it stronger or “Kadak”
- Use one Tetley British blend tea bag for each cup of water
- While unsweetened tea tastes great you can add sugar while making the tea or add it to taste in individual cups. Other sweeteners such as jaggery, honey, or agave can be used instead of sugar.
- I usually add skim milk or low-fat milk but you can also add regular milk for a more creamy chai. You can also use less water and add more milk for a creamier chai.
- Depending on the quality and freshness of the ginger you may need to add more or less. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and then add more if needed.
- Add 2 green cardamom along with ginger
Serve hot chai with a piece of toast with homemade ghee spread on top or piping hot homemade paratha for breakfast. For an afternoon snack chai pairs perfectly with hot pakoras.
Traditionally a variety of snacks and breakfast foods are served in Indian homes. Here are a few that I love to make when I have company:
Do you have to peel ginger for tea?
I do not peel ginger as the peel adds flavor and a nutrition boost. Simply scrub and rinse well to remove any dirt and dry with paper towels.
More Indian Drink Recipes
Ready in under 10 minutes, this 3 ingredient Ginger tea is lightly sweetned with a spicy kick of fresh ginger and a dash of milk.
Add water to a medium saucepan and keep it on medium-high heat.
Add tea and ginger and bring it to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for two minutes.
Add milk and bring the tea to a full boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat off or allow it to simmer on low heat for another two minutes. Additional boiling time will make stronger tea.
Using a strainer filter the tea into two cups. Add sugar, honey, or sweetener of your choice. Enjoy hot!
- Tetley British blend tea bags can be used instead of loose tea
- Boiling the tea for a long time after adding milk makes it stronger or “kadak”
- You can reduce the amount of water and add more milk instead for creamier chai
- I prefer to skim or low-fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc
- You can also add sugar along with the tea or add it to taste in individual cups
- Depending on the quality and freshness of the ginger you may need to add more or less. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and then add more if needed. I usually add 1½ teaspoons per cup.
Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 55mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 55mg
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.
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