Masala chai

By Vijaya Selvaraju


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons black tea leaves (Darjeeling) or 5 black tea bags
  • Sugar to taste
  • Tea biscuits to garnish


  1. Place cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom and black pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Close, and hit with the bottom of a pot or rolling pin, until spices are lightly crushed.
  2. In a saucepan, bring milk and water to a simmer. Add spices, and simmer for two to three minutes. Turn off heat, and add tea leaves. Allow to steep for ten minutes. Then strain.
  3. Return to saucepan, and heat until just barely simmering.
  4. Pour into teacups, and add sugar to taste. Garnish with a piece of star anise and cinnamon and serve alongside tea biscuits.


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