Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tea Recipe: Chocolate Masala Chai With Turmeric

The past few weeks have been unusually warm and humid here in NYC, but I know the chilly weather is creeping in. The wish for fall weather has left me craving warm and comforting sips.  The other day I wanted something chocolatey and spicy, and decided to take my favorite masala chai and give it a few tweaks. I was looking for something tasty but also a little different. I decided to add unsweetened cocoa powder, and on a whim, a wedge of fresh turmeric. I was hoping that the earthy turmeric would play well with the chocolate and spices. It did! The other unexpected ingredient I added is salt. I like to add a pinch of salt whenever I'm baking with chocolate so I thought I'd give it a try here too. I don't know the chemistry behind it, but it really enhances the flavor. It does the same in this recipe! Just a small pinch of salt will do. Since this worked so well, I decided to share the recipe with everyone. I love cooking and baking but I don't share many recipes. Let's change that.

I recommend using fresh ginger and turmeric for this recipe, it makes a huge difference. But you can use dried versions if you'd prefer. It's not always easy to find fresh turmeric! I was really happy with how this recipe turned out. It was so good that my kids greedily slurped up every bit that I gave them, and asked for more. Even my husband who isn't a fan of sweets was impressed with the flavor. Of course, I also saved a generous mug for myself.

Tea Happiness' Homemade Chocolate Masala Chai
Serves: about 2 Time: about 12 minutes

1 1/2 cups whole milk (any milk of choice will do, but I prefer cow's, almond, or coconut)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. loose black tea (or 2-3 tea bags)
6 cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric, or 1/4 tsp dried

2-3 tbsp. granulated sugar (or to taste)
pinch of salt

Make the tea: In a small saucepan heat the milk and water slowly over low heat until it starts to get warm and slightly bubbly around the edges. Don't do this over high heat, or the liquid will erupt onto the stovetop! Once warm, whisk in the cocoa powder until combined. Then add the tea, spices (I like to crack open the cardamom pods for more flavor), ginger, and turmeric. Let everything lightly simmer (remember, that milk can bubble over!) for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 2 tbsp of sugar and the pinch of salt. Stir gently until dissolved. Taste, and add more sugar if desired. I like to start with less, and then add more if necessary. Once you have enough sugar stirred in, strain into mugs and sip happily!

Alterations: If you'd like to eliminate the tea to serve it to kids, you can use rooibos, or simply leave the tea out altogether. You can always add a little more cocoa if that's the case. You can also add other flavors to the tea as well, vanilla works nicely.

I'll definitely be making this treat on gray afternoons, and after snowy adventures. Or on warm fall days when I'm wishing it was a bit cooler outside. My kids have already requested this tea for this weekend! I'd love to know what twists you make on masala chai, feel free to share with me in the comments.


  1. Sara, I just came over from Nicole's blog. As I told her, the only flavored tea I've ever liked is Earl Grey with real bergamot, but I could be tempted by this recipe of yours!

    1. Thank you Jean!! If you make it let me know what you think. I'm not a flavored tea person either, but masala chai is always the exception.