What exactly is masala chai?
Great question. On its own, chai literally translates to "tea." Masala chai refers to traditional tea made in India using tea leaves, milk, sweetener and a mix of aromatic spices called masala. In most parts of India masala chai is simply referred to as chai. Chai masala can differ from region to region, and even from household to household depending on taste preferences, but typically includes fresh ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg with the first three being staple ingredients for most.
As coffee brings people together in other parts of the world, chai is the promoter for social activities and conversations in India. You start your day with chai and end your meal with chai (did we mention chai is a great natural digestive aid?) It's a simple grounding drink that can be found in every home, on roadside stands, vended at train stops, and in the fanciest restaurants alike. It's simple and delicious when made right.