Ohhhh Chai spices — I love them so much! They are so warming and comforting and make you feel like everything is right with the world. I love Chai tea, and make my own masala chai (mixed spice tea) by blending tea and this spice mix. The nice thing is you can customize the blend to whatever you like best — I like a lot of cardamom and cinnamon, so I use a lot of it, relative to the other spices.
I also love the star-shaped star anise pods. I don’t think I use them in much else, so it’s nice to stick a whole bunch of them in this spice mix. There are also peppercorns and whole cloves in my version — but feel free to adjust the spices based on your own personal preferences.
Spice mixes are super easy to create. You take all your stuff and stick it in a spice grinder. Pulverize it into a fine powder, and you can even then pop it into a jar and give it to friends and family as a custom spice blend you made just for them. Or eat it all yourself!
A hint for using your spice grinder: I use my coffee grinder for EVERYTHING — coffee, spices, flaxseeds, you name it. And the secret to keeping all the strong flavours separate from each other (and not having flaxy coffee or coffee-flavoured spices) is to clean out your grinder in between new things. The easiest way to do this is to quickly grind a few tablespoons of rice in the grinder (I use brown rice), and discard the ground rice — after a quick wipe, it’ll get all the bits of everything else out, and your grinder will be flavour-neutral and ready to go for your next grinding.
To make my own Masala Chai (aka. Chai tea), I use the following ratio:
- 1 c. (250 ml / 8 oz) boiling water
- 2 tsp. rooibos tea or black tea
- 1/4 tsp. Masala Chai Spice Blend
- 2-4 slices of fresh ginger
But you can also use this chai spice mix for other things: you can add a teaspoon to banana bread, use a half a teaspoon along with the topping of an apple crumble, or you can even use it in hummus. I mean, it is hummus month after all — so stay tuned tomorrow for a sweet hummus with Chai spices!!!!
Masala Chai Spice Blend
Makes about 1/4 cup
- 3 Tbsp. cardamom pods
- 6 star anise pods
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
Place all ingredients in a spice grinder, and grind until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
Enjoy in good health in tea, baked goods, or even hummus!