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Kadak Masala Chai (gluten-free)

A warm and robust cup of kadak masala chai. Strong Indian tea prepared with aromatic spices and lots of ginger.
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Cuisine Indian
Servings: 1 large cup
Author: Nisha @ honeywhatscooking


  • 1 cups water
  • 1 clove
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods - premium quality* use 2 pods if it's premium quality, else 3-4
  • 1 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 inch cinnamon stick sliced in half
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger grated** (roughly 2 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp tea leaves I love Wagh Bakri
  • 1/3 cup organic whole milk***


  • Heat up a pot of water on medium-high heat.
  • While the water comes to a simmer, use a mortar and pestle to crush the spices - clove, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick.
  • Once the water simmers, add the crushed spices.
  • Grate the ginger directly into the pot of water. This helps the juices of the ginger fall in which adds a lot of flavor.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Bring the water to a boil - about 1 minute.
  • Once the flavors start to boil, add the tea leaves. Boil for 30 seconds max.
  • Immediately after, add the milk.
  • Pull the tea a few times to help mix all the ingredients.
  • Bring the tea to a boil, make sure the tea doesn't overflow so stay close. Add the cardamom at this time.
  • Once the tea comes to a boil. Turn off the gas. Cover with a lid for one minute.
  • Strain the tea into a glass/mug. If you require sugar, add it directly to your tea. Enjoy with a digestive cookie - it's my favorite way to enjoy tea these days.


* For cardamom pods, if you're using premium quality cardamom pods, then use 2. If you're using normal store bought cardamom, then use 3-4. It seems like a lot, but many cardamom pods don't have black pods inside, instead they have brown. Hence, if you can find premium quality cardamom pods, that is best.
** Ginger is key in this recipe. You can't have enough. You'll need 3/4 inch piece of ginger for 1 serving of masala chai. My recipe makes 1 large serving or 2 small.
*** Whole milk works best in this recipe, but if you want a healthier option, you can opt for 2% reduced fat milk, I would not go below 2% though. Also, I prefer my masala chai less gada (thick), if you prefer creamier masala chai, add 1/2 cup of milk instead of 1/3 cup. If you prefer less milky tea, add 1/4 cup of milk instead. I've tested all 3 amounts, and it tastes great either way.