Homemade Tea Masala
What is Homemade Tea Masala?
Tea Masala which is also known as Chai or Chai spice is a mixture of spices which are ground together. Tea Masala is added to the boiling water before adding tea leaves and milk. With sugar added to the tea, Masala Tea or Chai is the most comforting drink on earth. Whenever I make masala or thikhi puri or Ganthia Jalebi breakfast I love to have a cuppa of good Indian Masala Chai. On cold days you’ll probably find me curled up on the sofa with a hot mug of Masala tea.
Exotic Spices and Spice Powders – Homemade Tea Masala
I doubt there is any kitchen in the world where one cooks has not got any whole or powdered spices. The most common spices are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. Adding spice powders to bakes, curries, side dishes, desserts, soups, starters, dips, sauces, dressings, etc just makes all the difference in the overall taste.
Homemade masala or spice mixtures are the best. Plenty of advantages of making them at home:
- Spice or masala mixtures are absolutely fresh
- No adulterations or artificial flavorings added
- One can adjust the spice mixture according to ones taste
- Spices used to make the powder are of the best quality when made at home
- I just love the aroma of spices wafting through my kitchen
- Some simple spice powders can be very expensive
- Making small batches maintains freshness and flavour of the spice mixture
- Great for gifting on any occasion, be it Diwali, Christmas, Birthdays, House warming etc.
Is it easy to make the spice powders at home?
It definitely is, the only you require beside the spices is a good grinder. I use my trusted coffee grinder for making small batches of spice powders.
How do you make the spice powders?
Very easy, you need to roast or toast the spice or spices over low heat in a wide pan, skillet or wok. Keep stirring till either the spices begin to pop like mustard seeds or give off a pleasant aroma. It is believed that roasting them gently not only makes it easier to grind them but also on heating volatile aromas are released making the spice or spices more flavorful. Make sure you don’t burn the spices.
Some Home Made Spice mixtures by Fellow Bloggers:
- Mireille makes Ras El Hanout a North African spice mixture which cane used for soups, couscous, meat and fish dishes.
- Shobha shows how to make Home Made Instant Sambar Mix and she also gives a tip of traveling with this spice mix to make a quick rasam whenever you have access to a kettle and water.
- Renu makes Bisi Bele Bath Masala at home whenever she prepares the famous Karnataka dish, Bisi Bele Bath.
- Check out Swaty’s Kadhai Masala Mix which you can practically use for any Indian curry, be it mushroom, paneer or mixed vegetables, potatoes, etc.
- Archana’s Homemade Biryani Masala is what I need to make as soon as possible.
- Mina has learnt how to make a easy Homemade Masala Blend which she learnt from her father in law. Add any spice to this blend according to the dish you want to add to.
- Priya’s Kootu Podi or Spice mix is so simple to make. I’m sure it can be used for a variety of dishes.
- Jayashree’s Punjabi Garam Masala is perfect for any Punjabi Cuisine dish you prepare.
Roast or toast separately or together?
It all depends, certain spices like cloves, cinnamon, pepper can be roasted together. Smaller spices or those that roast faster are added later on. Some prefer to roast them all separately and then mix them. As for me it all depends on what kind of spice mixture I am making.
Do I make all my spice mixtures and powders at home?
Yes I do except for the pickle spice mixture which I buy readymade. Just love how flavorful, aromatic and fresh they are. Any extra spice powder is stored in an airtight container or ziplock in the fridge. Here are some spice mixtures I make at home:
- Thandai Spice Powder
- Spice mixture for stuffing vegetables like okra, brinjal, potatoes, etc.
- Hot Chocolate Spicy Mix
- Gujarati Garam Masala
Ingredients for Homemade Tea Masala
- Black Pepper – to add that little hotness to the spice
- Cardamom – I usually try to use green ones whenever available but you can use any. I don’t peel the cardamom, I roast them with the pod as they too are very aromatic. Sometimes I like to add a bit more depending on how I want the tea masala powder to taste.
- Cinnamon sticks – best to cut them into smaller pieces before roasting them. Its easy to break a cinnamon bark using a pestle.
- Cloves – be careful not to add too much as the spice mixture can become too pungent. Cloves have a very strong flavour and smell.
- Ginger Powder – I usually use ginger powder which I get a steady supply of from my sister in law. However, if not available use small amount of dried ginger. During winter or cold months I tend to add 50g more of the ginger powder.
- Nutmeg – I usually grate it on a grater using the spiky side. The aroma of freshly grated nutmeg is heavenly.
How to use Homemade Tea Masala?
I love to have my daily cup of tea with some homemade Tea masala added to it. I just about ¼ tsp of the Tea Masala or Spice Mixture to my mug before adding hot water and the tea bag. Makes drinking tea without sugar more flavorful. Whenever, any cake recipe calls for a mixture of spices I tend to add tea masala.
During the hot season made Iced Chai Saffron Latte, by adding ½ tsp of tea masala to the brewing mixture.
Date Chai Muffins simply taste awesome. A perfect balance of sweetness from the dates and spiciness from the tea masala.
Jaggery Banana Bread is one recipe where I love to add tea masala to the batter before baking.
You should try Tea Bread, made from black tea and tea masala, its such a wonderful tea time treat with tea or coffee.
For Christmas Breakfast I love to make Date Bread, and yes you’ve guessed it right I add tea masala to the dough.
My friend Sasmita made some baked yogurt or as its more popularly called Bhapa Doi in West Bengal, with tea masala added to it. I waiting for the opportunity to try out her recipe.
My friend Nayna during her visit to Jodhpur, India stumbled upon a spice shop run by Mrs Verhomal and her daughters. One of the spice mixtures she bought was masala chai powder. Head over to her blog to find out how she brews a perfect cup of Indian Tea and to read about the spice shop.
HOME MADE TEA MASALA/ CHAI MASALA/CHAI SPICE POWDER
Makes about ½ cup
100g black pepper
75g cinnamon sticks (taj)
50g cardamom (elachi)
10 cloves (laving)
100g dried whole ginger or powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
- Dry roast the pepper, cinnamon sticks and cloves over low heat for 3 minutes. Remember to keep stirring all the time.
- Let the spices cool.
- Grind the pepper, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom together into a fine powder. If your are used dried ginger, then add it along with the spices to grind.
- Add the ginger and nutmeg powder and mix it very well.
- Store the masala in an airtight container.
Use good quality spices
Remember to roast them gently, do not burn the whole spices
Store in an airtight container to retain the freshness.
Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste.
Don’t add too much of cloves, nutmeg or pepper as it may make the spice powder to strong and pungent.
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