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Photograph: Haarala Hamilton
Photograph: Haarala Hamilton

In need of a comforting drink? Here’s the recipe for Dishoom’s Masala Chai

Written by
Kate Lloyd

Stop whatever you’re doing immediately and make Dishoom’s Masala Chai. The exceptionally cosy drink is spicy, sweet and the kind of thing you’d find at a Bombay street stall. It’s available to order at the table at the London restaurant chain but it’s also what they hand out to the snaking queues of people who wait outside for tables. Want to create the authentic Dishoom drinking experience at home? Why not sip this standing outside your kitchen door while your dinner is cooking? 

Dishoom’s Masala Chai (serves four)

What you need

1. Two tbsp loose assam or darjeeling tea, or three english breakfast teabags.
2. 12 slices of fresh root ginger
3. 1½ tsp black peppercorns
4. 12 cardamom pods
5. Two cinnamon sticks
6. Five cloves
7. 50g granulated white sugar
8. 500ml whole milk

What you need to do

1. Put the tea, ginger and spices into a saucepan, pour in a litre of boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until you can smell the spices. This should take about ten minutes.
2. Add the sugar and milk, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Allow ten minutes, stirring occasionally. (A skin will form, but this is strained off at the end.) Taste to see if the chai is to your liking; boil a little more if you wish for a stronger flavour. Patience will be rewarded!
3. Strain, discard the solids, and serve immediately.

Extract taken from ‘Dishoom’ by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (£26, Bloomsbury)

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