Authentic Indian tea is called chai, and consists of a black tea mixed with milk, spices and sugar. Each household has its own methods and styles of preparing the tea, according to its individual tastes. Basically, all the recipes include the same ingredients but the amount of each ingredient varies. Chai is thought to aid in digestion of food and is served with all meals in an Indian home. The tea is sometimes referred to as masala chai or spiced chai.

Things You'll Need

Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and ginger in a food processor and grind until the mixture resembles a course to fine powder. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Place 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a simmer.

Add the spice mixture and simmer for two more minutes. Simmer longer if you prefer a stronger tea. As the mixture simmers, the water will become darker. For typical Indian chai, the water will attain a color similar to that of the fresh cinnamon.

Add the remaining 2 cups of water, tea leaves and sugar. Simmer for five minutes, or until sugar is fully dissolved, stirring occasionally.

Add the milk and allow the mixture to come just to a boil. Simmer for three minutes. Do not let skim form on top of the mixture.

Remove from heat and strain into a thermos using the small strainer. Discard the contents of the strainer. The tea must be kept hot until you and your guests are able to finish it. Serve immediately.