You must admit that some things just taste Β so much better when had from and on the streets. Chai definitely classifies as one of them. The masala chai served at Starbucks would loose hands-down compared to the Chai from the streets in Mumbai. My sister had just been to Istanbul and could not stop raving about it. It was a well budgeted trip and she had so much fun, saying the cheapest holidays sometimes are the best. You needn’t be staying 5 & 7 star to have a great time. One of the things we ended up talking about was the incredibly delicious street food and the tea they served there and how she loved it. Almost immediately I had to stand up for our local tea ! Nothing beats a desi road side chai. There is something about it … maybe the way the chai walla keeps stirring the tea endlessly or maybe the rustic way its made … but a cutting chai is difficult to resist . I had to share with all of you what the famous Mumbai Masala Chai is all about, and so we have our 1st video on aapplemint.

There is such a vast difference from the dip dip – tea using a tea bag, and a made on the stove – boiled tea. The aroma wafting from a pot of boiling tea, the fragrance of cardamom, fresh ginger and the aromatic blend of the chai masala mix can turn you into a tea lover. You could very easily make your own chai masala and preserve it. Just a teeny bit could liven up your tea. This spice mix can also be used to flavour cakes and chai lattes. Use you imagination … go wild . There is no fixed recipe for masala mix for tea … it varies from person to person, but this is more or less it. Like some people like their tea milkier and some like it strong, there is no fixed ratio to the spices. This works for me, and just half a teaspoon per cup of tea just perfect.

  • 8 brown cardamoms (skins removed)
  • 20 green cardamoms
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 8 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tsps ginger powder
  • 12 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Grind all these spices to a very fine powder using a coffee grinder . Preserve in an air tight container.

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Comment :

That chai must be delicious! I can imagine that certain things taste better at home than when coming from the street… The homemade version is prepared with surely much more care….

Happy New Year!



Hey thats exactly what I add to my masala tea except I’m one those people who dont like masala powder and prefer boiling the tea with fresh whole spices including fresh ginger! But masala powder is so much easier and a great gift!

P.S. Nothing beats chai on Mumbai streets.

Another great post as always! Great quality video too (like everything else on your blog — never seen a less-than-perfect pic here!). A voice-over would have made it perfect. πŸ™‚


love that video…esp. the smashing the day lights out of the ginger, that’s what i do every morning πŸ˜‰ just not with a stone πŸ™‚ anyway really nice work documenting mumbai chaiwala…when i’m in town, you have to take me there πŸ˜› & yes, no other chai comes close to desi chai, one thing i really can’t live without!


Rosa, yah more care and more hygienic :p

Kulsum ..even I’d much rather have a tea with fresh ginger, but sometimes the masala really works.

Shantanu … thanks *blushing* … Thought of the voice over … but i sound like a squeaky kid … dont think that would’ve added to the video … lol

Mo … haha next time try the stone for added flavour :p And pukka trip to the chai walla on for when you come down. Luckily this guy us just outside my house πŸ™‚

Happy New year!


I agree wholeheartedly. Each year we visit from the US, one additional reason I love shopping in India (as if I need an additional reason) is that inevitably, once we sit down to look at sarees or other fares, someone from the shop will go and fetch a small glass of hot chai. Tastes amazing and no matter how I try, I can never replicate it!


That masala chai looks very delicious! However, there is one spice, i.e. black pepper is missing from your mix. Our family recipe is ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom(black), and clove…all in powder form mixed in the proportion of 1:1:1:1/2:1/2. You may vary the proportion to your choice. We do not use fennel seeds. However, in north part of India they do like it in masala chai.


When Collin went to Punae one of his coworkers gave him some chai to take home and it was absolutely wonderful. Starbucks version is almost laughable compared to it — your chai tea looks wonderful, I love the cardamom!

Thank you for the recipe! The pics are awesome and I like the teapot so much!
I’ve been drinking chai latte lately as lighter option than coffe, shall give this drink a try!

Btw, the travel recommendations always say not to buy any food or drink from the streets in India, but then how can the foreigners enjoy the authenticity of local cuinise?!

You made a safe choice not opting for UK – it’s freezing cold around! The best time to visit I think is end of May, July and August πŸ™‚

Love that tea pot. It is a sheer bliss to sip a glass of hot tea on a chilly winter morning.

Happy New Year!



beautiful blog and mind blowing pics!

love your article.. feel like having a hot cuppa right here right now!

I cant wait to try out some of your deserts and recipes.

absolutely stunning stuff!!

i like it

I drink tea all the time since I grow up in the environment where most people drinking tea daily. I love tea simply because it taste good and very healthy.


You are so right, homemade is much, much better than Starbucks… not just for tea! Thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

Alexandra Zeller

I am not a huge fan of chai but this sounds amazing! I completely agree with the fact that sometimes homemade things are just so much better than anything else.

I would love to taste your chai mix!! I got addicted to it after my visit to India, now I console myself with tea bags that I have my mom send to me (since there’s no chai in Italy). Yum!


I just made this using my Caranda Kenyan Earl Grey tea (best black tea I’ve ever had)… and it’s extra yummy because the tea itself has so many fragrant “layers”. I also “pulled” the tea for a full five minutes before serving… I never knew what this really did, but now I realize that it thickens and smooths the texture… delicious!

Your post is wonderful… photography is beautiful… and the video adds great depth to the enjoyment of the tea. Thank you for this!

There would be no street side Chai without those glasses.. the exact ones πŸ™‚ I heart your kettle.


It is come alive cup of Chai. I have it every morning.
Very addictive !

i am going to try this at my home for my caution not to use muslin cloth

Wonderful video. I agree with you that sometimes street food just can’t be replicated at home. Part of the allure I suppose is the atmosphere:-)


Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been searching for an extra kick to my morning chai since I tend to like it spicy and strong and receive weird looks when I ask for it that way. I love the spice mix, all my favorite flavors in one. I whipped it up this morning and it made all the difference. Love it!

This is an amazing spice recipe! Thank you for sharing it. Oftentimes tea boiled on the stove becomes bitter, so I’m looking forward to trying your recipe!

I just love masala. Great recipe, thanks

Masala chai is always my fav! Can smell the aroma πŸ˜€

First time here. You have a wonderful blog and your pictures are amazing!!

Do visit my blog and keep in touch πŸ™‚

Anu Ganesh

That looks delicious! I always see videos of tea makers in India pouring chai from one cup to another in long arcs. It’s a beautiful way to prepare a beautiful drink.

Wow that cup of tea must have lots of flavour; looks delishious πŸ™‚

lisa damayanti hermanto

Kate…!!, love your blog. Been following your blog since 3/4 years ago ( I was living in Thailand ). This is my first time comment. Your tea pot is so cute. Is it copper ?, btw I must make this tea soon…. thank you..

You know, I think what really makes this tea is having a beautiful pot from which to pour it!

In all seriousness, I’m intrigued to see that you use black cardamom in your masala mix. Not one I would have thought of using – I think I’d find that distinct smokiness a bit much. But I should give it a try before I knock it!

Thank You EVERYONE for your beautiful comments πŸ™‚ They honestly make my day πŸ™‚

Lisa, that tea pot is my great grandma’s … its a blend of 5 metals actually. Really strong and heavy.

aforkfulofspagetti … try it n let me know πŸ™‚

I just discovered your blog while surfing on the Internet. Your blog appears to be very informative, written well and appealing. You can be sure I will be a frequent visitor and I will place your address in my list of β€œenjoyable??? blogs. (our address is:; company name: Chocolates & Figs, and my name is: Georgette G.

Thank you for this. My mom and I were searching for a chai recipe and this looks fantastic!

yea… the pics πŸ™‚

i list it
Mumbai Masala Chai | Aapplemint at this moment im your rss reader

I had no idea homemade chai was so easy! Admittedly, I am a novice at tea. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try this.

I had no idea homemade chai was so easy! Admittedly, I am a novice at tea. Thanks for sharing, I can\’t wait to try this.

Sound so delicious!! masala Chayee!!!!

Oh Kate, this video made my day! So amazing. It’s a little bit like being in the streets of Mumbai. Makes me want to go so badly. I need a cup of chai, now!


Stephan … Open invitation for you πŸ˜‰ come anytime n I’ll show you around πŸ™‚

Wow…………I can still smell this masala chai, I love this drink, it’s a magic drink isn’t it?

Chetna Nagpal


I am a film student from Mumbai University and for my final year I am making a documentary on cutting chai and how this half a glass of tea can define mumbai.

I would like to interview you and understand your perspective about this city and why do you think cutting chai is such an important part of Mumbai.

If you could oblige me with a brief interview do let me know.
My id is

oh and keep the subject line: cutting chai

Thanks & Regards,
Chetna Nagpal

I love , bookmarked for future reference

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I’m not easily ipmresesd. . . but that’s impressing me! πŸ™‚

Great Recipe. I love chai but I can never make it quite like the desi road side chai. Yum! Going to try this soon!

This masala chai are very tasty whether they are from road or somewhere else. I sometimes try these masala chai and they seems very tasteful rather than home made tea.



This is a great post. Not only did I learn how to make good chai I also absolutely fell in love with your photography skills. I am a beginner in photography (playing with my Nikon D90) and would love to hear where you learned photography (classes/manuals/blogs) and also if you could share some tips/techniques πŸ™‚

Keep up the good work!

Ohhh this sounds so good. Love good chai!!!

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