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Chai (Spiced Indian-style Tea)

Photo: Lisa Corson
Total time 15 mins
Yield Serves 2 to 5 (makes 2 1/2 cups) (serving size: 1/2 cup)
From Badmaash restaurant, in Los Angeles, this aromatic tea, called "cutting chai" in India, is served in small glasses because it's so strong ("cutting" is the transliteration of the Hindi word for "half"). The black cardamom gives it a smoky, earthy flavor; we recommend starting with the lower amount.


  • 4 teaspoons loose-leaf black tea, such as Assam
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks (each about 2 1/2 in. long)
  • 1 or 2 black (also called brown) cardamom* pods, crushed with a rolling pin or mallet
  • 2 to 4 green cardamom pods, crushed with a rolling pin or mallet
  • 1 or 2 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat milk

Nutrition Information

  • calories 49
  • caloriesfromfat 31 %
  • protein 1.7 g
  • fat 1.7 g
  • satfat 0.9 g
  • carbohydrate 7.2 g
  • fiber 0.5 g
  • sodium 21 mg
  • cholesterol 4.9 mg

How to Make It

  1. Pour 2 cups water into a medium saucepan and add tea and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil 2 minutes.

  2. Add sugar and milk and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain and pour into small cups or heatproof glasses.

  3. *Find black cardamom in the spice aisle of well-stocked supermarkets, at Indian markets, and at

Badmaash, Los Angeles