5 Ingredients or Fewer

Chai spice blend

November 26, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes ~ 2 tablespoons
Author Notes

There is no single formula for Chai spice. it varies from brand to brand & home to home. Indian Masala tea comes in many many flavors and every one of them is deliciously unique. From a simple addition of smashed fresh Ginger root & crushed cardamom to complex blends incorporating a dozen spices.. My preferred method of ginger root & cardamom only gets me so far as a cup of chai, so I cobbled up a mix of 5 spices (inspired by Chef Raghavan Iyers newly launched line of spices, turmeric trail).. While its near impossible to decipher the exact proportions of the spices used in the commercial version, I used the list of ingredients on the package to come up with my own. Its been through a rigorous set of testing on regular spiced chai as well as experiments with hot chocolate , a version of chai spiced shortbread, and my thanksgiving apple and pear pie!. The flavor of the blend is pretty intense and all you need is about 1/4 th of a tsp for a strong cup of chai or chocolate. Classic case of a little goes a looong way. Its not worth making larger quantities unless you're planning to make industrial amounts of tea. —Panfusine

What You'll Need
  • 2-4 cardamom pods (seeds only)
  • 6-7 cloves
  • 1 stick cassia cinnamon (1 cm x 4 cm in area), broken into tiny pieces
  • 8-10 black peppercorns (smashed)
  • 1 tablespoon dried ginger powder
  1. In a small cast iron skillet, add the cardamom seeds, cloves, smashed peppercorn and the cinnamon pieces & toast them over a gentle heat till the spices begin emitting their characteristic aroma. Transfer the spices into a stone mortar and allow to cool down slightly.
  2. Add the ginger powder & pound until the spices have ground into a fine powder. Sieve the masala using a fine tea stainer. transfer the bigger bits of spices back to the mortar & repeat the process of pounding & sieving until you're left with very little spice grit (which you can toss into any stew or dish you're planning to make). Sore in an airtight container.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Grandma Kathy
    Grandma Kathy
  • boulangere
  • drbabs
  • Panfusine
A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!

10 Reviews

McKenna May 28, 2015
I'm making a chai spice mix for my son's wedding favors (a hundred and fifty 3-oz. spice bottles' worth), though (don't hate me), I don't like chai. This recipe: is it added to hot water? Or added to hot tea as an additional flavor? I need to include a brief "how to use" tag to the favors. Help!
impeesa November 15, 2013
this is destined for some biscotti
Panfusine November 15, 2013
Sounds Great! Thanks!
Grandma K. November 27, 2011
Reading this reminds me of a question I had while grinding up some coriander seeds and using my M&P for the first time. It is made of something like marble (bought it at BB&B) so I wondered if it could be washed in the dishwasher or at all?
Panfusine November 27, 2011
I like to scrub out the grinding surfaces to get out all traces of the previous spice, so have never used the dishwasher ever to clean M&Ps. it may be in my head, but I can never get over the feeling that I can somehow 'smell' the previous blend that was made..
boulangere November 26, 2011
When you mentioned that you'd made a variation of the Peppermint Truffles using your Chai spices in place of the peppermint schnapps, I was about to ask if you'd consider sharing your recipe. Thank you so much! I think this would make lovely Christmas gifts, especially for my daughter. Thank you, thank you.
Panfusine November 26, 2011
Thanks Boulangere, I ran out of my stock when I used about 2 tsp for my thanksgiving spiced apple pie. I just had to go back & count the spices out (yep, literally) & remake the spice blend to my satisfaction before taking pix & posting it. Its actually more satisfying crushing the mix fine with a mortar & pestle than just using the coffee grinder.
boulangere November 26, 2011
Oh yes, I have several m&ps for different applications. I'm very much looking forward to making this. Thanks for sharing all your tips, too.
drbabs November 26, 2011
Love this! Thanks!
Panfusine November 26, 2011
Thanks drbabs!