We make a lot of spice mixes in our house. One of my favourites to make (because it makes the kitchen smell so good), is chai masala. You can use any combination of flavours for your own personal chai masala. Below is the recipe for the blend that I normally use.
Feel free to vary whatever you want or to add other flavours, take out what you don’t like and add what you do. Make it what you like.
To use the masala, simply add 1/4 teaspoon of the powder to the pot when you start the chai making process. Add the spices early in the process ensures that the flavours contained in the powder are well-steeped into the tea and do not taste “raw”.
Oma’s Chai Masala Blend
2 tsp green cardamom pods
2 tsp whole cloves
3 small pieces cinnamon bark or 1″ of cinnamon stick
1/2 pod of star anise
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seed
Using a mortar and pestle, the flat edge of a large knife, or other kitchen utensil, crack open the cardamom pods. Remove and discard the pod casing, reserving the seeds inside.
Place the cardamom seeds and all other ingredients into a spice grinder, blender or burr mill (or you can use the mortar and pestle if you really want a workout) and grind the spices into a fine powder.
Pour the powder into an airtight glass jar and store in a dark place (not in the fridge). The powder will remain useable for a significant period of time but how long will depend on the quality of the individual spices that you have used.
Tips: Using a dark jar and storing the spices in a dark place will increase the time the blend remains useable.
Plastic containers will absorb the smells of some of the spices of this blend, making them unusable for other purposes. Some plastic containers will also be stained by some of the spices in this blend (especially the cloves), changing their appearance. For these reasons, I always use a glass or stainless steel container for spice blends and other ground spices.