Chai Spice is such a versatile spice mix in the sense that you can not only add some life and zing into a lackluster tea concoction, you can use it for making variety of other delicious treats.
Preparing chai spice mix is easy as pie. All you need are some very basic dry spices and you’re good to go. You probably even have all of these spices sitting in your spice rack. At least if you belong to an Indian household, making your own chai spice mix should not be an issue for you as far as ingredients are concerned.
There’s probably a ton of brands available in the supermarket that sell this spice mix but really, would you bother spending money on something that has been packaged days, if not months ago if you knew that your very own homemade chai spice mix can be prepared in less than 5 minutes including gathering your ingredients, weighing them out and then proceeding to make the mix? I’m sure you wouldn’t and therefore, I shall show you today, something very basic, but so life changing, once you make it. Your chai tea will never be the same again and once you drink your chai with these aromatics swirling and imparting their distinct identities, you’ll never want to go back to drinking plain tea ever again.
Everyone has their own unique chai spice recipe that they like to use to add more zing and pizzazz to their tea concoctions and here’s something that my family has been using for as long as I remember. All you need is four simple ingredients and you’re good to go. Before you head to your kitchen to make your own homemade chai spice mix, make sure that you’ve got these ingredients sorted – Ginger powder, Green Cardamom pods, Cloves and Cinnamon sticks.
That is about all the ingredients that you will need to make your own homemade chai spice mix. Each spice has its own unique characteristic flavor profile, which when combined with the rest, amplifies the overall potency of the spice blend, making it a combination of zesty, sweet and spicy that pairs extremely well with something as simple as tea. This chai spice mix when added to your tea helps refresh your palate completely and reenergizes you.
Flavor Profile of the Ingredients:
This is the primary ingredient that adds the zing of freshness to your tea. Ginger is known for its citrusy and zesty notes while still having an earthiness to it. It adds a sense of warmth to the dishes it is used in and therefore, when you use it in tea; it adds a whole new layer of comfort and warmth to your cup of tea without being too overpowering. Besides, ginger is known for its ability to drive any kind of flu away. So, the next time you have a coughing fit, drinking some ginger tea is going to work wonders for your health. I know so because I’ve grown up having tea with this spice mix and a generous helping of ginger in it, so I can attest to the fact that this will be your new favorite spice mix.
Cardamom and Cinnamon:
Both cardamom and cinnamon add natural sweetness to your tea. However, it is also very important to not overdo it as it can quickly become overpowering. You will instantly note the addition of cardamom and cinnamon in your tea because they each have a characteristic flavor profile that is recognizable from just a whiff. They are both also largely used in desserts.
Cardamom has a sweet and floral taste with a very mild minty hint that cools the back of your mouth and leaves a slightly bitter but pleasant after-taste. Cinnamon on the other hand, is more on the warming side as its sweetness is more woody in terms of the aroma. However, when you combine both, you get the perfect combination of floral, minty and woody in one cuppa.
If you’ve ever eaten a stick of clove by itself, you’ll instantly guess that cloves add a hint of spice to this homemade chai spice mix. It is extremely potent and therefore, you need to use it quite sparingly or else it is very easy for this spice to take over any other spice or ingredient that it has been partnered with. Cloves go extremely well when paired with ingredients that have a floral or fruity note and therefore, it is perfect with the zesty and citrusy ginger, the floral notes of cardamom and the woody fruitiness of the cinnamon.
There are two ways for making your own chai spice mix. In the first type, you could use whole ginger root instead of ginger powder and add a small knob of it directly when the tea is being brewed. Mincing it or slightly smashing it with a pestle to release its oils will help create a more flavorful tea. You can blend the dry spices, that is, the cardamom, clove and cinnamon together in the quantities mentioned below and add a fourth of a teaspoon to one small cup of tea when preparing your concoction. This is my favorite way to use the chai spice mix since ginger powder is not that easily available in supermarkets where I stay.
However, if you are skeptical of using fresh ginger or are worried that it consumes more time than you can afford, you can create a blend using ginger powder but using a far lesser quantity as dried ginger powder is extremely potent and can be easily overpowering. Besides, do not forget that this spice blend is highly customizable as tea is a very subjective matter. I may like more cardamom in my tea while you may prefer a stronger taste of ginger. Therefore, my recommendation is to adjust your spice blend as per your tea preference.
This batch makes enough to last you roughly a fortnight. This again depends on the number of people that drink tea at your home and the number of cups of tea you drink in a day. In any case, making fresh batches of this spice mix is a good option as it is extremely easy and barely takes 5 minutes to be prepared. I hope you’ve learned a good few things about the chai spices and how you can make your own chai spice mix at home to enjoy a beautifully warm and delicious chai latte.
- 2 teaspoons dried ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon green cardamoms
- 2 inch stick of cinnamon
- In a blender, add all the spices. (Including the green pods of the cardamom, no need to peel the pods)
- Pass the powder through a sieve.
- Store in an airtight container.