Bring the water and finely grated ginger to a full rolling boil in a pot at least twice the volume of your chai, as it tends to like to boil over. Turn down to medium high, or a brisk simmer, for 2 minutes.
Add the tea bags or loose tea. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the roughly ground cardamom pods and fennel, the anise and the cinnamon, along with the milk.
When the chai comes to a boil, and froths up to the top of the pan (usually about 5 minutes or so), turn the timer on for 7 more minutes.
Add the sugar, and strain this wonderful steaming yumminess into two mugs.
The times set in this recipe are quite exact. I have a crappy electric stove, and I turn it to 6 on the dial. If you find you have less than two standard mugs of chai when you're done, then you can simmer on a little lower heat, or for a shorter time period. If it is too watery, then simmer longer or on higher heat until you find the perfect chai! You can also play with the sugar quantity. Also - you can double, triple, quadruple this recipe -- just watch the sugar content as it may need less overall, and the time it takes to boil will be longer.