Masala chai is perfectly spiced Indian tea with milk, sugar, whole spices and fresh ginger. A hot, strong cuppa masala chai in the morning will put a spring in your step and rev you up for the day! If you are a family who loves their tea, let your instant pot do the work while you go do something else!
Cozy up with a hot, comforting cup of masala chai and if you like something to nibble with your tea, try these traditional Indian cookies called nankhatai. These are soft and flaky and will melt in your mouth.
Indians and Pakistanis all over the world are known to be passionate tea drinkers, and the day doesn't start until they've had their morning cup of tea. In fact, I know many people who drink several cups of tea through the day and into the evening! Most days, it's just plain tea with milk and sugar, but sometimes spiced tea is on the menu.
Here, I bring to you spiced tea the way it is made in the subcontinent, but in the instant pot. Which begs the question:
Why make tea in the instant pot?
The simple reason is that the instant pot eliminates the need to watch over the tea as it is brewing, especially if you are making it in large quantities. I like to use the appliance when I have a lot of people over so I don't have to stand at the stove the whole time. These two reasons justify the use of the instant pot, otherwise, you can make perfect tea on the stovetop, of course! If you are a regular tea drinker, I suppose I don't even have to tell you that.
Here's a picture of the ingredients required. Exact quantities are mentioned in the recipe card further down the post.
How to make masala chai
- Make the masala first. Take all the whole spices as well as the fresh, peeled ginger root in a spice grinder and whiz once or twice only to grind it coarsely. You can also grind the spices in a mortar and pestle.
- Pour four cups water in the steel insert of your instant pot and turn to sauté. Let the water come to a roiling boil. Remove the paper tags from the teabags and add the teabags and spice mixture to the water carefully. Cancel sauté.
- Now, add the milk and sugar, stir, and pressure cook for four minutes. When the timer beeps, allow the steam to release naturally. Open the pot and stir the brew again.
- Using a tea strainer, strain the hot tea into a teapot or directly into warm mugs or cups. Masala chai is ready!
Some useful tips and notes
- You can use loose black tea leaves also instead of teabags also. Add four tablespoons into the water when it comes to a boil.
- If you want a stronger tea, increase the number of teabags or loose tea. I have noticed that loose black tea is stronger and infuses more flavor than teabags generally.
- Vary the spices according to your taste. You can increase the amount of cardamom and ginger and leave out the star anise, cloves and cinnamon if you want the first two flavors to dominate. Or the other way round. Adjust the spices and aromatics until you hit the combination you like. I love cinnamon so I sprinkle a little on top of my tea as well.
- To store the tea, cool the strained tea completely, pour into containers and keep in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in a microwave when you want to have it again.
Why this spiced tea recipe works
- Rich and strong - the spices kick it up several notches and give it an interesting flavor profile. Also, the flavors meld beautifully in the time it takes for the pot to open after cooking.
- Easy - no special skills required to make tea and the instant pot just makes it easier if not quicker.
- Convenient - No monitoring required once you've hit that pressure cooking button and can be made in a large batch in the 6-quart.
Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea)
- 6 whole green cardamom
- 1 star anise
- 1 stick whole cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 1 " piece fresh ginger
- 4 cups water
- 8-10 black teabags
- 2 cups fresh whole milk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Put all the spices and ginger in a spice grinder and grind coarsely.
- Pour the water in the steel insert of your instant pot and hit sauté. When the water starts boiling, add the teabags (tags removed) and spice mixture. Cancel sauté.
- Add the milk and sugar. Secure the lid, make sure the steam release handle is turned to 'sealing' and hit the pressure cooking button. Set the timer to four minutes. When the timer beeps, allow a natural release of pressure.
- Open the pot and stir the brew. Remove the teabags and strain the hot tea into a teapot or directly into warm mugs or cups.
- Substitute the teabags with loose black tea if you want. Loose tea is stronger than teabags, so 4 tablespoons would be enough.
- Vary the spices according to your taste.
- To store leftover tea, cool it completely and pour into glass containers. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat in a microwave.