My all-time favorite tea is masala chai – a milky spiced black tea drink originating from South Asia – which I got my first taste of from a handful of delis and specialty coffee shops near my job. But enjoying it at home was difficult. Back then (circa 2003), the few offerings available on supermarket shelves didn’t quite replicate the strong spicy taste I’d been used to. Later, I looked online for recipes to make it at home, but found that they called for the use of whole spices – which I never cook with (and therefore never have on hand). So, instead of buying an array of costly spices I’d rarely use, I figured out how to make a blend out of ground spices. In addition to adding this seasoning to black tea, it’s a great substitute for cinnamon, cloves, or ginger in dessert recipes. — H. Weal
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1. Place all ingredients in spice jar and seal with lid. Shake to mix.
NOTES & TIPS
• BONUS RECIPE: Masala Chai: Combine 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon chai spice in 1-quart pot. Cook over low heat until just beginning to simmer. Strain into mug. Steep black tea in mixture for about 4 minutes. Serves 1.
less than 5 minutes
5 1/2 tablespoons