Desi Chai
Desi Chai
5 from 22 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.

This classic desi tea is enjoyed by Indians and Pakistanis everywhere. A spiced sweetened black tea mixed with tea that is now popular all around the world. Served by tea vendors, known as chai wallas, this spiced tea is sure to be popular with all no matter the weather.

With its increasing popularity in the Western world, chai blends are becoming commonly available in supermarkets. However, with this homemade chai recipe, you can make your own. This Indian tea recipe is quick, satisfying, and tastes so much better than store-bought blends.

I LOVE my tea. I mean, which British person doesn’t love their tea? But this masala chai recipe is just so much better than traditional English tea.

The name of this recipe comes from the fact that masala refers to the addition of spices and the chai means tea. So, it’s spiced tea. And that’s exactly what it is. I often hear people refer to it as chai tea, which is basically like saying tea tea.

It doesn’t make sense, but it’s another tautological phrase that has become so a part of our lives that everyone just goes along with it. Hey, each to their own really!

Every single person has their own unique combination of spices that they prefer in their masala chai and there isn’t one such way that is regarded as authentic. However, the four typical components in any masala chai recipe are black tea, spices, milk, and a form of sweetener.

Popular spices that are used in masala chai include cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, and star anise. The way you choose to make it is entirely up to you, but this recipe is something that keeps everyone happy.

I like to use whole milk in my masala chai recipe. This makes the tea much richer and creamier. However, for a healthier alternative you could use low-fat milk. This tea recipe can even be made vegan! Simply replace the milk with almond milk or oat milk. It will be just as good!

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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 22 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
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!



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

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Ulrike Hutchins
Ulrike Hutchins
1 year ago

5 stars
This looks perfect! Does it keep for a few days?

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