Karak Tea? Skip your coffee today

  • Publish date: Monday، 21 September 2020 Last update: Thursday، 25 February 2021
Karak Tea? Skip your coffee today

It is estimated that two billion people wake up and have their morning cup of tea. Yes tea, not coffee!

However, just like all types of coffee, tea comes in many flavors. Today, we want to explore a special type of tea people love around the world but in particular here in the gulf region and in UAE.  It is the Karak Chai – A tea that is sweet, delicious, and spiced up!

Indian Karak Chai tea or Masala Chai is an aromatic, spiced tea with milk that is famous worldwide for its unique taste. Widely enjoyed in India, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE and in Middle Eastern and Arabic countries where it’s generally called as Karak Tea.

What is Karak chai tea made from?
There are many variations of Karak Chai tea. However, in general, the following are the main ingredients:
● Milk (whole, condensed or evaporated milk)
● Water
● Sugar
● Spices – Cardamom, Ginger and Cinnamon
● A strong black tea base

Some Karak Chai recipes can differ and call for an added ingredients such as:

● A whole clove
● Pepper
● Star anise
● Honey
● Saffron

What does Karak Chai mean?
Karak roughly translates to ‘strong’ and Chai means ‘tea’. Karak chai is thick, flavourful and caramel coloured – much stronger than the regular cup of tea.

Is Karak Chai tea healthy?
Typical Karak tea has a high sugar content but if you consider the nutritional benefits with not much added sugar, like many teas, karak tea can improve the digestive process and can keep your gut healthy. The spice in the tea, cardamom and ginger have antibacterial properties that prevent digestive problems. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion by improving circulation and delivering oxygen to organs so they can perform optimally. For centuries, Cardamom has been a staple of Tibetan medicine as it contains vitamin C and other nutrients that keep your immune system healthy.

Where does Karak Chai tea come from?
Karak tea or Masala tea has long been served by chaiwalas as a traditional Indian street drink and normally poured with great dexterity and skill from arm’s length into a small, stout glass. With origins from South Asia, the tea brought over from the Indian subcontinent in the 1960s as people, seeking a life in a new land, arrived in their droves, it’s a drink that is traditionally served in the morning, alongside a biscuit or two.

What is the best recipe for Karak Chai tea?
The following is a simple recipe for Karak


● 2 tbsp loose black tea (loose leaf tea)
● 12 slices root ginger
● 1½ tsp black peppercorns
● 12 cardamom pods
● 2 cinnamon sticks
● 5 cloves
● 50g granulated white sugar
● 500ml whole milk

1. Place the tea, ginger and spices into a saucepan, pour over 1 litre boiling water and bring to the boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer until you can smell the spices, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the sugar and milk, turn up the heat and bring back to the boil.
4. Allow 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (A skin will form, but this is strained off at the end.)
5. Taste to see if the chai is to your liking; boil a little more if you want a stronger flavour. Strain, discard the solids and serve immediately.

Skip coffee today and enjoy your Karak! 

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