Food, Restaurants & Recipes

How to Make Masala Chai like a Real Chaiwala

If you want to make masala chai exactly how a Chaiwala does on the streets of New Delhi then there’s quite a big difference to my simple Simple Masala Chai (Indian Milk Tea) Recipe.

This is the recipe I’ve learnt from the streets of Delhi. I’ve included a video of how it’s made at the bottom of this post too.

Ingredients (Serves: 1)

Masala Chai. Photo by Kara Murphy.
Masala Chai. Photo by Kara Murphy.
  • 1/4 cup water.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon.
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger.
  • 3/4 cup single-toned buffalo milk. (Cheaper milk in the supermarket won’t cut it, you need to buy the most natural and unprocessed milk you can find. Ideally Buffalo milk if available.)
  • 1 teaspoon black tea.
  • 2 teaspoons of white sugar.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chai Masala (Everest’s Tea Masala is just ok, it’s not amazing, try to find a locally produced one).


  1. Add the water, cardamon, and ginger to a pot and bring to a boil. The water should turn a yellowish colour after a minute or two.
  2. Add the milk and tea and bring back to boil. It’ll slowly go dark brown.
  3. Add sugar and chai masala and stir.
  4. As the chai starts climbing up the pan, turn down the heat and let simmer. Do this 3 times. Even more colour should be coming out of the tea.
  5. Strain into your favourite cup and enjoy!

The spice levels are an art, so play with them to get your desired cardamon to ginger to masala flavour. I tend to go hard on the cardamon, normal on the ginger, and less on the masala.

You can substitute buffalo milk for cow milk, but there is a slight change in flavour. It just tastes better with buffalo milk. Use full cream for a rich chai.

Now you can start your roadside chai stall too!

How a Chaiwala makes tea in Delhi

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock, is a Hindi speaking Kiwi ex-pat who take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India and its neighbours. He has visited every state and union territory in India, and its culturally similar neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh, and aims to make others fall in love with India and the subcontinent.

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