One of the best ways to start your day is with a hot cup of chai boosted with the spicy kick of fresh ginger. Laced with a dash of milk and optionally sweetened, this 3 ingredient Ginger Chai is my daily dose of vitality and is ready in under 10 minutes.
The original recipe posted in Nov 2019 has been updated with new photos and a video
What is Ginger Chai
Indian Ginger Chai is quite simply, an aromatic concoction of freshly brewed tea infused with grated ginger root. Laced with milk and optionally sweetened, it makes for your daily dose of comforting goodness that will help to keep you warm and energetic. It also works great to soothe sore throats and facilitate the healing of common colds.
Back home in India, tea is a popular beverage enjoyed in the mornings as well as afternoons. Cutting Chai, or half a cup of tea is readily available in roadside Tapris (food stalls). Indian Chai is different from herbal teas, as it is simmered for a longer time to reach perfection and is usually enjoyed with milk.
Adrak Chai (ginger tea), Elaichi Chai (cardamom tea), Masala Chai (superior cousin of Chai tea or Chai latte), etc. are some of the popular flavors. Oftentimes, spices (ginger, cardamom, black pepper, etc) and herbs (lemon grass, mint, etc) are mixed together too, for e.g. Ginger-Cardamom-lemongrass Chai.
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.
- Black Tea - Loose-leaf black tea powder or tea leaves - I love Wagh Bakri Chai. If you prefer tea bags, use Tetley British Blend
- Milk - I use low-fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc. For creamier chai use more milk than water
- Ginger - I recommend using Organic Indian Ginger available in Indian grocery stores or Whole Foods that has sharper and more pronounced flavors. Ginger helps boost the immune system in addition to many other health benefits.
How to Make Ginger Chai
- Add water to a medium saucepan and keep it on medium-high heat.
- Add black tea and fresh ginger and bring it to a full boil as it gradually takes on a deep reddish-brown color.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add milk and bring the tea to a full boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat off or allow it to simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes. Additional boiling time will make stronger tea.
- Using a strainer filter the tea into 2 cups. Add sugar, honey, or sweetener of your choice. Enjoy hot!
As you take the first sip of this beautiful golden-brown piping hot beverage, the ginger leaves a subtle, invigorating flavor in your mouth.
I often get asked how “my chai” is different from Chai tea or Chai Latte which is readily available at several coffee shops. Indian chai is made in many different ways, and it’s interesting how each one of us is fiercely protective of our own brewing technique. While tea leaves, milk, and sweetener are almost always standard ingredients, the intense flavor imparting spices and herbs, water-to-milk ratio and simmering time sets one chai apart from the other.
- Boiling the tea for a long time after adding milk makes it stronger or "Kadak"
- Use one Tetley British blend tea bag for each cup of water
- While unsweetened tea tastes great you can add sugar while making the tea or add it to taste in individual cups. Other sweeteners such as jaggery, honey, or agave can be used instead of sugar.
- I usually add skim milk or low-fat milk but you can also add regular milk for a more creamy chai. You can also use less water and add more milk for a creamier chai.
- 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.
- Add 2 green cardamom along with ginger
Serve hot chai with a piece of toast with homemade ghee spread on top or piping hot homemade paratha for breakfast. For an afternoon snack chai pairs perfectly with hot pakoras.
Traditionally a variety of snacks 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
Do you have to peel ginger for tea?
I do not peel ginger as the peel adds flavor and a nutrition boost. Simply scrub and rinse well to remove any dirt and dry with paper towels.
More Indian Drink Recipes
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons black tea powder or black tea leaves **
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ginger grated
- ½ cup low fat milk
- 2 teaspoons sugar honey or other sweetner, optional
- Add water to a medium saucepan and keep it on medium-high heat.
- Add tea and ginger and bring it to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for two minutes.
- Add milk and bring the tea to a full boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat off or allow it to simmer on low heat for another two minutes. Additional boiling time will make stronger tea.
- Using a strainer filter the tea into two cups. Add sugar, honey, or sweetener of your choice. Enjoy hot!
- Tetley British blend tea bags can be used instead of loose tea
- Boiling the tea for a long time after adding milk makes it stronger or "kadak"
- You can reduce the amount of water and add more milk instead for creamier chai
- I prefer to skim or low-fat milk but feel free to use regular milk, soy milk, etc
- You can also add sugar along with the tea or add it to taste in individual cups
- 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 1½ teaspoons per cup.
♥ Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for tasty and easy video recipes. Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Check out our delicious Instant Pot Recipe board on Pinterest.
My mom adds cardamom with ginger. And it tastes like the best tea on this planet 🙂 man, I wanna go home 😀
Yes, moms tea is always the best!! I sometimes put cardamom too!
U have a lovely blog. and I am going to try heaps of ur recipes and thank u in advance for them.
Just a small tip..dont ever heat honey. It becomes toxic as per ayurveda. If u need to use it ....use after cooling whatever u want to add honey to. U have lil children hence my alert.
Have a twinkling day.
Thanking u again for a lovely blog - technically well made too. (Maybe u can share what tools u used for this )
Where are the cups from? They are adorable!
So good! I’ve made the tea several times using local honey. Thanks for another great recipe!
Thank you for the feedback!
Have just made this Ginger Chai. Must say that in Italy the strongest tea you can find in supermarkets is Twinnings, I use the Breakfast, so the taste its mainly ginger which I don't mind, but wish I had more tea flavour.
Thank you for this recipe and the others, am getting my pan soon as this lockdown due to the corona virus ends.
Hi Lidia, Thank you for the feedback. Do you get the Tetley British blend black tea? Feel free to play around with the amount of ginger as well as tea.
No chance to find here Tetley British blend black tea, but once this corona virus is over will try to find it in internet.
Be well and hopefully you can find it online.
Thanks you for this recipe! I think it is a healthy drink!
I just made the tea and my family just loves it and they want me to make it at all times .Thanks for the recipe
Priya Vaidya says
Hi Archana ,
Where I did you buy the tea pot from ? Is it stainless steel. ?
Yes stainless steel. Its from bed bath and beyond
I'd love to have this at work but we only have a kettle and a microwave.
Could I make this of an evening and microwave it or add boiling water to reheat it at work?
Yes you can always make it at home and microwave it. It stays good for an hour or 2
Delicious! I’ve bought so many chai tea bags and loose leaf teas hoping to match my husband’s family’s chai “bite”. They swear they just get the chai loose leaf or bags and add milk but I have found that to be improbable! This is much closer and oh so delicious! Thank you for this simple but complex recipe and variations to try in the blog.
I came across the adrak chai recipe while searching for calories in chai ...alya chi chah is the cure for all cough cold ailments and the only tea I drink...
I go without tea but only have ginger tea ....as it is the tea we were allowed to sip from grandma's cup early in the morning when you had a slight cold or cough. Filled with amazing aroma ...and tasty ...
Here is a quick tip that I follow
I boil water and then add ginger ( niccely washed and grated - yes i too do not peel it) . Post boiling and getting aroma of ginger in water I add tea leaves and quickly close the pot and switch off the burner and let it simmer ...the tea gets only nice ginger aroma and tea is mild....
I pour in flask and store and while drinking add milk or sugar as required ...
This is a good way to carry my tea as well ...
Loved to read your recipe too ...will try
Jaswinder Singh says
I trief and chai was the best. I also like British tetley tea.
Love it . It’s so warm and delicious
Regina Gornall says
I am enjoying this right now. I even bought the tea you like Wagh Bakri. It is delicious. I was born and raised in Germany, the only time we add milk to tea if it is just straight black tea. I never would have added milk to a tea containing ginger, but it is yummy. I do like creamy teas (and coffee) . This is a game changer, now I need to make my own masala since I got 1 kg of Wagh Bakri. I felt my tea needed to be paired with something Indian, so I made a quick besan chilla, thanks to my spice haul last week.
Thank you again for your generosity sharing your recipes.
P.S. I tried ordering the tea through your link, but it is in USA, I am in UK, when I switch the amazon site to UK I am not sure if you are getting credit. You might consider having a UK account as well. I was going to order the masala dabba, but with the USA link I would have to pay shipping of almost 40 £, and the dabba was not available on UK amazon.
Thank you for the lovely feedback, Regina! I will look into how to create and share a UK amazon account.