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Authentic Pakistani Chai

The typical Pakistani or Indian family drinks chai very different from the chai latte you get at your local coffee shop. This is an authentic cup of chai you will find brewing in the typical Pakistani kitchen.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup* reduced-fat or whole milk whole milk will result in a slightly richer, creamier chai
  • 1 1/2 tsp loose tea-leaves or 2 black teabags (I use Tapal Danedar) or more to taste
  • 1-2 cardamom pods slightly broken or a pinch of cardamom powder (optional)
  • sweetener to taste

Instructions

  1. Place water in a saucepan over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add tea-leaves or tea bag and cardamom. Reduce the heat to medium and gently allow this to simmer for a minute or two.

  2. Add the milk and raise the heat back to high.
  3. As it begins to boil, the chai will rise in the saucepan. Remove the pan from heat before it reaches the top of the saucepan. Do this a few times to really develop the flavor while using a ladle to scoop and pour back the chai. Side story time! In a 2009 trip to Pakistan, we stopped for some chai at a tea stall on the way to Nathia Gali. The place was heavenly but that chai was unforgettable. Luckily I had observed the process - I remember the chai wala (tea vendor) used a ladle to repeatedly scoop up and pour back the chai. I've tried this technique and can attest that it does enhance the flavor. Try it!
  4. Pour this chai through a small sieve into your favorite cups and sweeten using sugar or honey.

Recipe Notes

*Feel free to reduce the amount of milk and increase the water if you prefer thinner, less milky chai.