What is Masala Chai?
Masala Chai is the quintessential Indian drink!
If you ask in India which is the best Masala Chai, they will answer that the one at home.
Due to the number of different types of Masala Chai ( Masala: mixture, Chai: tea ) we can consider it as a class of tea rather than a specific type.
The 4 Ingredients of Masala Chai!
The spice mix must contain all six Ayurveric flavors:
– The sweet to develop and strengthen tissues and also harmonize the mind.
– The salty one that is softening, laxative and sedative.
– Acid because it is stimulating, carminative (nutritive and quenches thirst)
– The spicy is stimulating, carminative and improves metabolism and digestion.
– The bitter since it cleanses and detoxifies.
– The astringent because it stops some excessive discharges (such as excessive sweating or diarrhea) and promotes healing of the skin and mucous membranes.
The traditional version of Masala Chai uses chai spices:
– Cardamom: to aid digestion and combat bad breath;
– Clove: because it is good for the nervous system;
– Pepper: which purifies the blood;
– Ginger: for colds and inflammations, in addition to facilitating digestion;
– Cinnamon: for the bones.
Other possible ingredients can be: nutmeg, black cardamom, chilies, coriander, rose petals or liquorice.
There are some versions that add a small amount of turmeric (they use it to reduce fevers).
The base of the tea is usually a strong tea such as Assam black tea to bring out the flavor of the tea along with the spices.
The usual mix in the Masala Chai shops is made with Assam black tea and Ayurveda.
It is also made with other types of tea, for example, with Sencha green tea called Sencha Chai with less protein and more antioxidant than black.
Today there are two new varieties:
Pu Erh Chai: this is how the slimming properties of red tea are used.
Rooibos Chai: without any stimulants and with the sweet taste of rooibos.
Traditionally, in India they use watery buffalo milk.
Outside of India, whole cow’s milk is generally used. Usually the same amount of milk as water .
But… You can add the amount of milk you want and some people even use condensed milk or vegetable milk.
Some people prefer Masala Chai without sugar, but a little white or brown sugar and even honey enhances the flavor of the spices.
As you can see there are different Masala Chai; strong and intense with black tea, antioxidant such as Sencha Cahai or with the properties of red tea. Even without stimulants like Roobos Chai.
All of them have a spicy and sweet flavor and you can take them with milk or on their own; with sugar, without sugar, with honey, etc.