The word Chai actually means tea in English and Russian. In India, it is also known as Masala Chai. More appropriately, it means spice blend. Tea has become a daily part of Indian life. It is now a key element of our culture which has spread throughout the world. Masala Chai is an everyday drink in most parts of India. It is common for Indians to delight themselves with 2 cups of it per day.
In almost every street corner and even office space, you will find a Chai Wallah (tea vendors) who prepares this traditional beverage. They prepare this rich Masala Chai over an open fire in small stands and stalls and serve it in clay tea cups called Kullarhs.
Well, you can prepare it yourself! This may be the right tea for you, to give you the strength and energy during the day and to take you on an amazing ride through the world of Indian tea. Let’s prepare it together! Have a look at our Masala Chai benefits, recipe and get your ingredients ready.
Some amazing Benefits of the Indian Masala Chai
- Improves Digestion: The spices used in Masala Chai help in regulating the digestive system. It also helps in keeping your gut healthy. A spice like Ginger aids digestion by improving circulation and delivering oxygen to organs so they can perform optimally.
- Supports the Immune System: It is known to strengthen the immune system and keeps common infection at bay. It helps provide relief when infected with common cold and cough.
- Improves Heart Health: Cinnamon, one of the main ingredients in Masala Chai, helps lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Drinking Masala Chai can prevent cardiovascular disease when consumed regularly over long periods of time.
- Relieves Aches and Pains: The spices found in Masala Chai can alleviate common aches and pains. These health benefits derive from the anti-inflammatory properties of many of the ingredients in it, specifically ginger and clove.
- Reduces Nausea: Spices like Ginger and Cardamom are well known for their ability to reduce nausea and seasickness. Masala Chai soothes an upset stomach and alleviates stomach pain associated with nausea.
- Boosts Energy: It is a wonderful experience having a hot cup of ‘Masala Chai’ after a hard day’s work. Caffeine is a natural stimulant in Masala Chai which boosts energy and gives you the kick which you need to start your day.
- Boosts Metabolism: Tea is known as a heat generating food in Ayurveda. It helps speed up metabolism. Ingredients like ginger, clove, black pepper and cardamom helpincreaset loss and increases the metabolism of the body in a short period.
- Contributes to Reduce Sugar Levels: Ingredients used in Masala Chai such as clove, cinnamon, and cardamom helps in preventing diabetes by increasing the insulin sensitivity of the body and lowering one’s blood sugar levels.
- Relieves PMS: It can be your best friend to fight the symptoms of PMS the natural way. Ingredients like ginger, clove, and cardamom work as natural painkillers when you are experiencing period pains. It calms your nerves, keeps you in a good mood and relaxes your muscles.
Authentic Masala Chai Recipe (Serves 2 cups)
- Water: 1 cup
- Milk: 1 cup (organic whole milk, almond milk, oat milk)
- Black tea/ loose leaf: 1 ½ teaspoon
- Jaggery Powder: 2-3 teaspoons (more or less) or maple syrup, honey, brown sugar
- Clove: 2-3
- Cardamom: 2
- Cinnamon: ½ stick
- Peppercorns: 3-4 (optional)
- Ginger: 2 slices or crushed
- Star Anise: 1 (optional)
How to prepare
- Lightly crush cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, star anise, and peppercorn and add in boiling water
- Add black tea/leaf and boil it for 2-3 minutes
- Add sugar and milk
- Bring it to simmer twice or more
- Turn off the heat and strain it into your favorite mug
- Your Masala Chai is ready!
A common myth is that green tea has more health benefit than black tea. This is simply not true. It is because all tea (Black, Green, and White) comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, they offer the same benefits. The spices which we have used in our Masala Chai are well known in Ayurveda for many health benefits.
- Ginger is anti-inflammatory and improves digestion, prevents and manages stomach ulcers, protects against symptoms of cold and flu, and stimulates blood circulation. It also reduces blood cholesterol by improving liver function
- Cinnamon has Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial properties. It helps in lowering LDL cholesterol and has a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes
- Cardamom is considered as a kidney cleanser. It is known to enhance appetite, improve digestion and provide relief from acidity in the stomach. It is also considered beneficial to the urinary tract system
- Cloves are well-known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. They’re also known to heal ailments of the digestive system and promote good digestion as well as metabolism
- Black Pepper is a powerful anti-oxidant. It improves digestion and promotes intestinal health. It is an effective remedy for respiratory conditions including colds, coughs, and flu
- Star Anise aids digestion, alleviates cramps and reduces nausea. It also helps in preventing constipation, supports good sleep, promotes bone and skin health.
So, add the ingredients mentioned above in your regular tea to make it a complete Indian Masala chai. Do share your experience in the comments below!