Everyone’s chai recipe is different—but I like to think mine is special. So here, without further ado, is my super-secret, much-coveted recipe. My Kadak Adraki Chai combines the kick of ginger with the mellow flavors of fennel and cardamom. And I like my tea strong (or kadak in Hindi)—so add more milk and less tea for a milder chai.
PREP COOK SERVES
2 minutes 5 minutes Makes two big mugs
1 heaping teaspoon loose black Darjeeling tea
2 tea bags (Sona recommends Tetley)
1 two-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
½ teaspoon fresh cardamom seeds, gently smashed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lighted smashed
2 cups water
1 cup milk, at least 1 percent (for a creamy texture)
Optional: Cinnamon or cloves add a nice touch
1. Peel and smash ginger, and light bruise fennel and cardamom seeds to release oils and bring out flavor.
2. Add ginger, fennel, and cardamom to saucepan with two cups water, loose black tea and tea bags. Bring to a rapid boil on medium-high heat.
While boiling, add one cup cold milk. Bring the liquid to second boil.
3. Strain the now-golden liquid into two large mugs, carefully keeping loose tea and other ingredients out of the cups.
Enjoy hot, preferably with pakoras or cookies.