Chaa – Milky Black Tea

A milky tea concoction is called by several names in India.  Chaa is one of them,  Chai another and Cha, one more amongst many others.  Obviously depending on the part of the country you’re from, there is a name for this sweet milky goodness. 

2 cups water

2 tsp loose leaf black tea, heaped
pinch of sugar
1/2  cup whole milk

To make

Pour the water into a small saucepan.
Add the black tea and the pinch of sugar  
Bring to a boil.  
Lower the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.  
Now add the milk and simmer a bit longer.
The chaa should have a nice caramel color once its ready.

simmering tea before being strained

Using a tea strainer, strain the chaa into teacups.
Sweeten with a sweetener of choice.
I personally love coconut sugar.

Roti with ghee and sugar, a must have with a cup of Chaa
  • Tips and  Memories


I really don’t remember how many cups of chaa I’ve had in my lifetime.  All I know is that it hasn’t been enough!  Any time is ‘Chaa‘ time.  Especially with a fresh baked batch of naan kathai or shortbread cookies, absolutely delicious.
A friend, who grew up in Africa too, reminded me of a time when we were younger – we would drink chaa from a saucer when it was too hot.  Now that I think about it, I really can’t place when exactly I started drinking chaa… I guess that may have been the beginning.
My sister, myself and my dad’s younger brother (just few years my senior – believe it or not) loved dipping Marie biscuits, four at a time I might add, into hot chaa and quickly devouring them before they fell apart in our cups.  Now this may sound shocking to some but as a treat, we’d sandwich the Marie biscuits with thick layers of salty butter and then dipped them into our chaa.


If you prefer a little bit of a spicy chaa.  Feel free to add a few pods of cardamum, some black peppercorns and about 1tsp of freshly grated ginger or just a few lemongrass leaves. Then bring it to a boil before adding the milk.

Chaa boiled with a few leaves of lemongrass

I really like Kenyan black tea, it has a lovely rich caramelly taste.
Another black tea that I have been sampling recently is from India called ‘Baruti’.  It is quickly becoming my favorite as it imparts the flavor of dark chocolate. 

Chaa tastes great with anything you can dunk into it.  Or better yet, serve Chaa alongside a plate of hot delicious bhajias (an indian fried savory dumpling) on a beautiful rainy day.  Definitely an Indian Classic!  Now how could I end this beautiful post without mentioning my beloved ghee.  Try a freshly made roti smeared in ghee, doused in sugar and serve alongside a good cup of hot Chaa!


16 thoughts on “Chaa – Milky Black Tea

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  8. Mmmmm… This is best after dinner 😬 there is not a day that goes by that I don’t have it… Even on holidays we used to teach the hotel chefs how to make this


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