My mornings invariably start with a hot cup of lightly sweetened black tea boosted with the spicy kick of fresh ginger. Laced with a dash of milk, this 4 ingredient Ginger Chai is my daily dose of vitality and is ready in under 10 minutes!
As a food aficionado, and an Indian origin food blogger, I must confess that I am quite obsessed with my ginger tea. My non-Indian friends often ask me why I fuss so much over “my chai” when Chai tea or Chai Latte is readily available at several coffee shops. No, it’s not the same, not even close. The Indian ginger tea is awesomely flavorful and also works great to soothe sore throats and to facilitate the healing of common colds.
Here’s a fun fact – Chai in India means tea. So, when you say “Chai Tea”, you are literally saying “Tea Tea”, something that my boys always point out and giggle about when we go to our local Starbucks.
Back home in India, tea is one of the most commonly served beverages in all homes and Cutting Chai or half a cup of tea is readily available in roadside tapris (food stalls). This is a must learn recipe to keep you warm and energetic through the coming winter season.
What is Ginger Tea/ Ginger Chai
Indian Ginger Chai is quite simply, an aromatic concoction of freshly brewed tea infused with grated ginger root. Laced with milk and just righty sweetened, it makes for your daily dose of comforting goodness in a tea cup.
How to make the best Ginger Tea
Brewing a good cup of chai is a truly therapeutic experience. For me, making my daily cup of morning tea (and evening!) is something I actually look forward to. It is magical to see the bubbling water gradually take on a deep reddish brown color as you add the tea bags and freshly grated ginger.
The fragrance of the herb and boiling tea is so exhilarating that I am instantly in a sensory paradise. I usually add skim milk or low fat milk but you can also add regular milk for a more creamy chai.
As I take the first sip of this beautiful golden-brown piping hot beverage, the ginger leaves a subtle, invigorating sting in my mouth and bingo, I know I’m going to have a great day!
We Indian’s brew tea in many different ways, and it’s funny how each one is fiercely protective about their brewing technique. While tea leaves, milk and sweetener are almost always standard ingredients, the intense flavor imparting herbs sets one chai apart from the other.
Aadrak Chai (ginger tea), Elaichi Chai (cardamom tea), Masala Chai (superior cousin of Chai tea or Chai latte) etc. are some of the popular flavors. Often times, these herbs are mixed together too, for e.g. Ginger-Cardamom Chai.
Chai is quite different from herbal teas, as it requires a slightly longer boiling time to reach perfection and cannot be truly enjoyed without milk. While you can sweeten your cuppa with sugar, jaggery, honey or agave, unsweetened tea tastes just as good.
Ginger Tea Variations
- Boiling the tea for longer time after adding milk makes it more stronger or “kadak”
- I like to use Tetley British blend tea bags but loose black tea works well too. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup depending on how strong you like the tea
- You can also add sugar along with the teabags or add it to taste in individual cups
- You can reduce the amount of water and add more milk instead for creamier chai
- I prefer skim or low fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc
- Depending on the quality and freshness of the ginger you may need to add more or less. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and then add more if needed.
What is served with ginger tea?
Traditionally a variety of snack and breakfast foods are served in Indian homes. Here are a few that I love to make when I have company:
- Anda Bhurji – Spicy India scrambled eggs
- Rava Dhokla – Savory semolina cake
- Muthia – Vegan and gluten free spicy bites
- Handvo – Spicy rice and lentil cake
- Kale Potato Parathas – delicious homemade flatbreads
- Methi Thepla – fenugreek and sweet potato flatbreads
- Spinach Sev – Crispy fried noodles made with chickpea flour
- Chakli – Spiral shaped crunchy snack made with rice and lentil flour
Benefits of ginger
Apart from the rich, pungent flavor it imparts to dishes, ginger root has several medicinal properties.
- Ginger facilitates digestion, improves circulation, and boosts the immune system.
- Ginger helps to reduce inflammation, which is helpful for people suffering from arthritis.
- Ginger has excellent antioxidant qualities, and according to some research it can help fight cancer cells.
An extremely versatile herb with a long shelf life, I always stock up on good quality ginger to add zing to my dishes. It can be stored outside, but I usually store mine in the refrigerator. While ginger is readily available in most grocery stores, I highly recommend the Organic Indian Ginger available in Indian grocery stores or Whole Foods as the flavors are sharper and more pronounced.
Do you have to peel ginger for tea?
I do not peel ginger as the peel adds flavor and nutrition boose. Simply scrub and rinse well to remove any dirt and dry with paper towels.
I hope I have convinced you how very simple it is to brew your own cup of ginger tea, and once you have tried it, I promise you won’t have any other!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Also try this soothing and immune boosting, Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey
More of my favorite homemade drinks
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Ready in under 10 minutes, this 4 ingredient Ginger tea is lightly sweetned with a spicy kick of fresh ginger and a dash of milk.
- 2 cups water
- 2 black tea bags I like Tetley British Blend
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup low fat milk
- 2 teaspoons sugar honey or sweetner, optional
Add water to a medium saucepan and keep it on medium-high heat.
Add teabags and ginger and bring it to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add milk and bring the tea to a full boil on medium hight heat. Turn the heat off or allow to simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes. Additional boiling time will make slightly creamier tea.
Using a strainer filter the tea in 2 cups. Add sugar, honey or sweetner of your choice. Enjoy hot!
Boiling the tea for longer time after adding milk makes it more stronger or "kadak"
I like to use Tetley British blend tea bags but loose black tea works well too. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup depending on how strong you like the tea
You can also add sugar along with the teabags or add it to taste in individual cups
You can reduce the amount of water and add more milk instead for creamier chai
I prefer skim or low fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc
Depending on the quality and freshness of the ginger you may need to add more or less. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and then add more if needed. I usually add 1.5 teaspoons per cup.
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