Tags: drinks

Barinder’s chai

Main ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods, crushed with mortar and pestle
  • 3 black cloves
  • 5 black pepper corns, crushed
  • half a stick of cinnamon
  • half a teaspoon of ajwain
  • the equivalent* of three teabags

(* I normally use loose-leaf tea. If using bags, I rip them open and put the tea in the saucepan)


  1. Boil three cups of water in a saucepan.
  2. When boiling, put the main ingredients in, and let it boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Put one and a half cups of milk in the saucepan (the more fat in the milk, the better), and bring to the boil.
  4. When boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes.
  5. Put in sugar or honey as required.


I tend to use less milk than this; but traditional chai has near equal parts milk and water. I’ve just never managed to get it tasting good when I do this myself, although my mum can do it. I also use honey.

This is a template – you’re going to have to experiment with it to get it to the taste you like. Be careful with the cardamom and ajwain – too much of either, especially too much cardamon, makes the tea very bitter. On the other hand, I find that liberal use of fennel gives it a refreshing taste. You’ll just have to experiment!

Deepthi’s chai


  1. Boil water, about 1 cup
  2. Add grated fresh ginger - roughly 2 tsp
  3. Add a bit of cardamom, crushed whole incl husks in mortar -> not mandatory
  4. 3 tea bags -> open and boil for 3-4 minutes
  5. Add milk (1/3 cup) and let it boil for another 2 minutes.
  6. Bonus: Add sugar / honey


If you’re using Red Label tea, use 1-1.5 tsp of tea powder. You want ctc tea.



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