This is from memory.
I'm placing this on the WWW so I can iterate it. Please send me suggestions if you try this.

  1. Place 1 liter of water and 1 liter of milk in a pot and start to heat slowly (10-20 min to gentle simmer).
    It is important to start with simmering milk.
    I have attempted to make chai from just boiling water, but the spice essense extraction is nowhere near as good. It tastes as flat as Starb%^&s if you don't start with milk ;-)
  2. Add about:
    1. 4 green cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
    2. 1 cinnamon stick (lightly broken)
    3. 3 anise stars (whole)
    4. 5 black peppercorns (whole)
    5. 6 cloves (whole)
    6. about 3 cubic mm's of nutmeg (fresh)
      You may also use some mace (optional)
      3-5 whole alspice are also nice, if you wish
    7. 4-5 thin (2-3mm thick) slices of Ginger.
      Thai (Galanga) is prefered, but the more common Chinese is fine.
  3. (Optional) add about 1/4 c honey.
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
    More traditional Indians will recommend reducing the milk, but I think this is more trouble than its worth. You will get some reduction in a 20 minute simmer, along with good spice essense extraction. If you simmer spices for more than 20 minutes, they will start to bitter. So, if you do reduce, reduce MOST of the way first, then add the above spices in the last 20 minutes.
  5. Add about 3 Tbsp Darjeeling tea, and allow to steep (covered) for about 10 minutes.
  6. Strain to serving pot, and add sugar to taste in the cup.

This is based off of several recipies seen on the WWW, and altered for a reasonable trade-off between effort and results.
I'm far too impatient to reduce milk by hand!

This recipe has a higher spice expression than many common coffee house varieties, but is similar to some of my more favored Indian restauraunts.

Aaron Birenboim
Last modified: Wed Nov 23 08:26:31 MST 2005