Desi Chai
Desi Chai
5 from 23 votes
This classic desi chai is enjoyed by Indians and Pakistanis everywhere. Served by tea vendors, known as chai wallas, this desi tea is sure to be popular with everyone.
Desi Chai

If you’re in search of a comforting beverage with a touch of spice, look no further than Desi Tea. Originating from the rich tapestry of South Asian cuisine, this aromatic concoction has been cherished for generations.

Despite its exotic roots, crafting this tea is simpler than you might think, making it perfect for both novice and seasoned home cooks alike.

Traditionally brewed with a blend of robust black tea, fragrant spices, and creamy milk, Desi Tea offers a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds.

The combination of green cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks infuses the brew with a warm and inviting aroma, while the addition of milk lends a luxurious creaminess that soothes the soul.

Expert Tip: While whole fat milk provides the creamiest texture, don’t hesitate to try different types of milk for a personalized touch. Each variety lends its own unique flavor and richness to Desi Tea, allowing for endless possibilities.


Tea Bags: A staple in any tea lover’s pantry, tea bags provide the base flavor for Desi Tea. Opt for black tea bags for a bold and robust brew that stands up well to the spices.

Sugar: A hint of sweetness rounds out the complexity of the spices, balancing their intensity and enhancing the overall flavor profile of the tea. Adjust the amount of sugar to suit your personal taste preferences.

Green Cardamoms (Elachi): These small, aromatic pods pack a punch of flavor, infusing the tea with a subtle citrusy and floral note. Splitting them open before adding them to the brew allows their essence to fully permeate the liquid.

Milk: Creamy and indulgent, milk adds a velvety richness to Desi Tea, transforming it into a comforting beverage that’s perfect for sipping on a chilly afternoon. Whole fat milk is recommended for the fullest flavor, but alternatives like almond or oat milk can be used for a vegan-friendly version.

Cinnamon (Dalchini): Known for its warm and earthy flavor, cinnamon lends a comforting aroma to the tea, reminiscent of cozy evenings by the fireplace. Pairing perfectly with the other spices, it adds depth and complexity to each sip.

Expert Tip: Allow the green cardamoms and cinnamon sticks to simmer in the boiling water before adding the tea bags.

Serving Suggestions

  • Traditional Teatime Spread: Serve Desi Tea alongside homemade paratha, a popular flatbread, and crispy onion pakora for an authentic teatime experience. The combination of warm, fragrant tea with savory snacks creates a delightful harmony of flavors and textures.
  • Dessert Pairings: Complement the rich flavors of Desi Tea with sweet treats like gulab jamun or jalebi for a balanced indulgence. The contrast between the spiced tea and the sweetness of these desserts adds depth to your teatime repertoire.
  • Relaxing Moments: Enjoy Desi Tea as part of a cozy afternoon ritual, accompanied by a good book or soothing music. Create a serene ambiance to fully immerse yourself in the comforting embrace of this beloved beverage.

Expert Tip: Taste the Desi Tea as it simmers and adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other types of tea for Desi Tea?

Yes, while black tea is traditionally used for Desi Tea, you can experiment with different varieties such as Assam, Darjeeling, or even flavored teas for unique twists on the classic recipe.

Is it necessary to add sugar to Desi Tea?

The amount of sugar added to Desi Tea is a matter of personal preference. You can adjust the sweetness according to your taste, or omit it altogether if you prefer a less sweet brew.

Can I make Desi Tea without milk?

While milk adds creaminess to Desi Tea, you can enjoy a dairy-free version by substituting it with a non-dairy alternative such as almond milk or oat milk. Adjust the quantity to achieve your desired consistency.

How long can I store leftover Desi Tea?

Leftover Desi Tea can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving, stirring well to redistribute the flavors.

Can I customize the spices in Desi Tea?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additional spices such as cloves, ginger, or black peppercorns to tailor the flavor profile of Desi Tea to your liking.

Check Out These Other Recipes

Here are some more recipes for you to enjoy! If you my recipes don’t forget to rate and leave a comment.

If you have any recipe suggestions, please do not hesitate to ask me. A great way to stay in contact with me is through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Don’t forget to tag me @CookwithNabeela in your recipe photos!

Desi Chai

Desi Chai

by Nabeela Kauser
A spiced sweetened black tea mixed with tea that is now popular all around the world. Serve with a side of aloo pakora and this is your desi teatime treat sorted!
5 from 23 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Beverage, Drinks
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 67 kcal


  • 800 ml Water
  • 3 Tea Bags
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 5 Green Cardamoms Elachi
  • 300 ml Milk
  • 2- inch Cinnamon Dalchini


  • In a large saucepan pour the water in and bring to a gentle boil
  • Once the water has come to a boil split the green cardamom pods in half and add to the water along with the cinnamon sticks and boil for a few minutes until fragrant
  • Add the tea bags then allow to gently simmer on medium heat for 3-4 minutes
  • Pour in the milk and bring it to a gentle boil – better to use whole fat milk but can be substituted with semi skimmed milk or for a vegan alternative almond and oat milk works well
  • Add in the sugar and gently simmer for 4-5 minutes – amount of sugar added can be adjusted to suit personal preference
  • Serve alongside homemade paratha and onion pakora for a desi teatime treat and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 40mgPotassium: 146mgFibre: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 127IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgCalcium: 116mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Hot Drinks, Recipe, Tea, Winter
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



Subscribe now to receive my latest recipes directly in your inbox. Stay up-to-date and never miss out!

Latest comments (2)

Nabeela Kauser

5 stars
Thank you! I wouldn’t recommend it. The taste and colour will change. You can have it a few hours later but not the next day. Hope that helps 🙂

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

More Recipes

Mango Smoothie

Mango Smoothie

Kadak Chai

Karak Chai

Masala Chai

Masala Chai

Kinder Bueno Ice Cream

Kinder Bueno Ice Cream

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Mac and Cheese

Macaroni Cheese