Tea was introduced to India by the British and, today, India
grows some of the world's most popular teas in the hills of Darjeeling in West Bengal,
as well as in the hills of Assam in eastern India and Nilgiri in southern India.
People in India are fond of experimenting with spices - even in tea - and often
drink masala chai, or "spiced tea". This type of tea is served quite
often in the regions of Punjab, Gujarat and sometimes in Maharashtra.
Indians start their days with tea, and often drink small cups of tea throughout
the day. In most households, tea is served once in the morning, and once again
around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. - and, of course, whenever there is company!
Try out the recipe below to make your own Indian masala chai
Masala chai (Indian spiced tea)
- 2 cups milk (3% or 2% - not skim)
- 4 cups water
- 6 or 7 green cardamoms, ground into powder
- 1 two-inch stick of cinnamon, or half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar, or to taste
- 4 teabags (if using double-cup teabags) or 1 teabag per cup (for single teabags)
- Boil the milk, water, spices, ginger, sugar and teabags together.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat, cover and let stand for three to five minutes.
- Strain into cups or into a teapot; make sure that the tea is still hot when served.
- Add more sugar, if desired.
Serve with Indian spicy snacks like samosas.
Makes 6 individual cups of tea.