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Indian Chai

Starting the day with an Indian chai (recipe)

A few weeks ago a small, little cafe opened up across the street from Sampoorna. Ever since you can find me there in the morning for an Indian chai, simple because they serve the best chai in the whole of Agonda.

Chai is Indian tea. It’s probably India’s national drink. It’s tea and at the same time it’s so much more than tea. Every restaurant, every household has it’s own version of chai. I like to try them all. When I visit a new city, I love to find a small, local cafe, where I can have a ‘real’, homemade chai.

The taste depends on which herbs are added to the chai. Mostly it’s a combination of black tea, milk and green cardamom pods, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and black pepper. But again: every restaurant and household has it’s own version. Passing down from mother to daughter. I like the one they make at Mandala cafe most. So I’ll share their recipe with you.

I’m not so good with milk (lactose intolerant), but for some reason this boiled version is pretty okay. Although for me it would be even better if there was no dairy in it at all, but rice or oat milk. But he, you can’t win them all.

Ingredients Indian Chai

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Green cardamon
  • Star anise
  • Black pepper
  • Green cardamon
  • Onion flower
  • Dried ginger
  • Fresh ginger
  • Milk (or a non dairy version like rice milk, oat milk)
  • Black tea with saffron
  • Sugar
  • Water

Preparing Indian Chai

  • Boil water with milk in a big pan
  • Add ginger and let it cook a little longer
  • Now add the rest of the herbs and let it boil 5 minutes more. Keep stirring so it doesn’t boil over
  • Strain the tea when you pour it into small tea glasses


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