My friend Sanjukta Moorthy first gave me this recipe for masala chai ages ago when we worked side-by-side in Canary Wharf in London. It's both delicious and medicinal. Medilicious? Delidicinal? Chai tea is a redundancy. Chai means tea. It's the masala that makes it 'chai' as we know it. Masala means, in the technical words of Sanjukta, "with spices and nice things".
What are those 'nice things'? Cinnamon sticks, whole fennel seeds and cloves, cardamom pods, and ginger. Roast lightly. Then add water, tea bags and let simmer. Don't boil! A mistake commonly made, she says. Then the most important step: making it creamy and, of course, sweet. The Sanjukta-way is lots of whole milk and white sugar. The Stephanie-way is lots of almond milk and agave syrup.
Check out more of Sanjukta's recipes at Things I Like To Cook at https://thingsiliketocook.wordpress.com/author/sanjuktam/ and her blogs and opinions (and she has lots!) on ethical consumerism and current events at The Soapbox at http://sanjuktamoorthy.com/to-absent-friends-a-mini-bio/