Masala Chai literally in Hindi means "tea with spices" and this is backed by ancient brewing traditions. There is no one recipe of this drink, but a great number of variations, and still remains unchanged the main rule of the "Masala" tea, that is the usage of milk, spices (mainly, cardamom and ginger), as well as a sweetener on the basis of the tea itself. Usually black "Assam" tea or granulated tea "mamri" is used for Masala Chai. However, there are exceptions: for instance, the Kashmiris prefer to use the green tea "gunpowder".
As for the mixture of spices "masala", most of their combinations were derived from traditional Indian medicine "Ayurveda", where are still used for medical purposes. It is fair to notice that the composition of the spices used for the "tea mixture" depends on the region of India. In the West people exclude black pepper and cloves, in the North people like to add almonds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and saffron, and in Central India no mixture is complete without a pinch of salt. In addition, the most popular spices in the "masala" are nutmeg, black cardamom, chili pepper, rose petals, liquorice and cumin.
Masala Chai is a warming and invigorating spicy drink. It is perfect for cold time of the year, and one may enjoy it at an Indian restaurant "Talk Of The Town"!