Roadside ginger chai recipe

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Although I love my mum’s chai, some of the best stuff I’ve ever had has been from roadside stalls in India (many with dubious hygiene credentials). The reason being that these chai wallahs do one thing and they do it well they’ve perfected their game by serving up hundreds of cups, dawn to dusk, every single day. Their chai, often potent, and drunk while standing by the chai wallah’s stall, is served in small glasses called ‘cutting chai’, i.e. a cut portion of chai.

  • Yield: 4 cups


  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 5 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 2 tea bags
  • sugar to taste
How to Make It
  1. Bruise the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar until cracked. Place in a saucepan with the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick and 500 ml of water.
  2. Bring to the boil, add the milk and tea bags, and bring back up to boiling point again. Strain into cups, and serve with sugar alongside for people to add as they wish.

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