Chai for Two

Chai. The energy drink of Indians. Sharing my recipe for two cups of strong chai which takes less than 10 minutes to make. A detailed recipe with a video where I describe the process of making tea for two. Returning visitor? Jump to Recipe
Chai for Two

I make chai every day, yet I never took an effort to do a good photo shoot, the same reason I refrained from sharing the recipe here. But "Chai" and "Tea" are the two most searched words on my blog, so let me not delay any further. I am sorry to all those who had to leave disappointed. But first, the chai blog definitely needs a chai recipe! 😄
Like most of you, I too used to do a 1:1 ratio of milk and water for my cup of chai for years, but it all changed after we moved to UAE. I was struggling to recreate our chai and was failing miserably. The same brand of tea leaves that I am used to in Yanbu was not tasting the same here in UAE. I tried changing the milk brand, and tried several different tea leaves yet we missed the "chai" we loved.  Around July 2019, one of my followers and fellow chai lovers shared a video from FoodFood's FB page. It was a video showing different types of Indian chai and I noticed they didn't use a 1:1 ratio - Now, that was very intriguing. As I have been failing to recreate my own recipe in this new kitchen, I decided to give this a try. Man, it was a revelation! Chai, you are home.  😍

I had shared it on Insta Stories and highlights in March, and since then, so many of you switched to this recipe sharing the feedback that it tastes just like 1:1 but with lesser calories! Exactly! Why add more milk when you can get excellent tasting chai with lesser milk.

Chai for Two

So what is the water to milk ratio for my chai? 

The ratio of milk and water in tea is crucial for taste. For every cup of chai, use 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup milk. Tea leaves are a personal preference, but I cringe and judge when I see someone sipping a milky light tea. ugh. So, how much tea powder for one cup of tea? I go with 2 to 3 teaspoons of tea leaves for every cup of chai regardless of the brand. 

Which brand of tea leaves is good for chai?

In the pursuit of finding the best tea leaves for chai, I found a few that can get the job done but are not quite there yet for us. Red Label mixed with Kannan Devan (not dust) was our thing until I found my lost love - Wagh Bhakri show up here. Thanks to a friend in Yanbu who generously gave me Wagh Bhakri packs. It was so good that we ditched Yellow Label (which was good in Saudi but tastes awful in UAE, no idea how that happens) Now, Wagh Bhakri is not always available, so I recently tried Society Tea that dear Rafeeda recommended and it is good too. So my choice of tea leaves brands is Wagh Bhakri, Kannan Devan, Society, also Al Kbous - a Jordanian follower suggested while in Yanbu and it indeed was great. I personally don't buy premade masala chai or likes of that but I am sure those are not bad either. I prefer to make my own masala chai and this recipe is a base for that chai too.

Chai for Two

Indian Chai Ingredients

  • water 
  • cardamom (optional)
  • tea leaves
  • milk
  • sweetener

How do you make chai tea from scratch for two people?

So, how to make two cups of Indian chai with milk like a pro? I am amused by how the west labels our Indian dishes and then it soon becomes a norm that ranks better even on google search. Chai means tea. Chai = Tea. So, when you call it Chai Tea you are asking for Tea Tea or Chai Chai. Why? And don't get me started with Chai spice! Naan bread? Lentil Dal? Anyways, the damage has been done and it is irrecoverable. I will call it chai for the love of authenticity. Tea can be all kinds of black tea that are essentially water infused with a certain flavour of spice or herbs. Chai is always milk-based tea, so you can call it milk tea instead of chai tea.  Here is my recipe for how to make tea with milk for two. 

Watch my video of making two cups of chai from scratch. 


Chai for Two | Tea for Two

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • a pinch of cardamom powder
  • 3 to 4 teaspoon tea leaves
  • 1/2 cup full-fat milk 
  • Sweetener of choice

INSTRUCTION

  1. Heat water in a deep saucepan on medium to high flame until you start seeing bubbles. (approx 3 mins)
    • (maintain the same flame throughout the process)
    • You may add crushed cardamom or your chai spice
  2. Add 3 to 4 teaspoons of tea leaves. (4 being for strong chai) 
  3. Bring this to a full rolling boil. (approx 2 mins)
    • (you may swirl the pan to make sure the tea leaves and water is mixed thoroughly or use a spoon to stir)
  4. Add 1/2 cup milk (you don't have to warm it.) The boiling will immediately stop but don't increase or reduce the flame at any point.
  5. Bring this to a boil and let it boil for a minute or until it reaches your preferred "strong" colour. (approx 2 mins)
    • (you may swirl the pan to make sure the milk fat doesn't stick to the bottom or use a spoon to stir)
  6. Strain the hot chai into a large mug with sugar or serve sugar separately. 
  7. Stir to dissolve the sugar. 
  8. Divide the prepared chai into two cups by pouring from a height to create froth.
  9. Serve with your favourite snacks.
If you have some time, then gawk at my chai stories!

Alhamdulillah, I am no longer addicted to chai - which means I no longer get a headache if I didn't have chai by a certain time of the day which was the case for many years. I think years of habit make an addict. From 6 to 8 cups a day during my working days to 1 to 2 cups now, is a huge change for me. My comfort chai time would be with this combo - Puttum Pazham and Chaiya. Let me know your comfort chai scene!
Chai for Two

Chai needs company - a person, a snack or you gazing outside by the window watching the birds or people. You always have a company with chai. 

TRIED THIS RECIPE? 

If you’ve tried this chai recipe or any other recipe on But First Chai, then don’t forget to leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share them with me on Instagram @butfirstchaai so I can repost them on my Stories! Thank you!

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