Spicy Masala Chai Recipe

chai with chilli

Soothing, creamy and aromatic masala has long been one of the favourite milky teas, especially for cooler days. Add some heat to it and you will get a truly warming and delightful drink. This spicy masala chai recipe has everything it needs to become your next favourite.

spicy masala chai with chilli

Is spicy masala chai difficult to make at home?

If you ever tried a proper chai, you may have noticed how different it is from regular . In fact, proper chai is made differently than a cup of tea with . It's simmered rather than brewed, usually contains lots of sugar and has more than just a splash of milk. Making this delicious tea is more than just brewing a cup of pre-made chai tea blend and adding milk. However, making spicy masala chai at home doesn't need to be difficult at all.

A few simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Always crush your spices using pestle and mortar
  • Dry roast spices in a pan before adding water
  • Add water first, bring it to a boil and then add tea leaves
  • After a few minutes, add milk and sugar and stir
  • Don't forget the pulling process – pour it from one saucepan to the other a couple of time

You can use a pre-made chai blend too, but don't skip the simmering step.

Ingredients for making spicy masala chai

Chai with chilli is a masala chai with chilli. A typical masala chai will usually contain ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, but there are dozens of other ingredients you can use. These include mace blades, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, vanilla and even chilli. Chilli is rarely used for blending tea, but when it is, you'll usually find it in chai and red rooibos blends.

chai with chilli


You can make chai with any spice you want. However, the most common ones are ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Mace blades are less common, but incredibly aromatic. Although they sound and look quite exotic, they are actually an outer layer of nutmeg. This recipe uses mace blades, cloves, cardamom and ½ of a small chilli pod. Dried small red chillis are another ingredient you'll need for making this chai with chilli. You'll also need green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.


When making a rich homemade chai, always use full fat (whole) milk. Although semi-skimmed milk may work too, it will undoubtedly offer less creaminess. If you are using a milk alternative, choose barista milks with creamier textures.


Use either regular white granulated sugar or light brown sugar. Chai will always need a sweetener, as the simmering process will increase the bitterness. Start by adding one teaspoon and add more if needed.

chai tea

Tea leaves

The best tea leaves for making a homemade spicy masala chai are usually broken Assam leaves. You can use tea bags too, but they may not always offer a rich deep flavour. Avoid stale or weak tasting teas. All ingredients, especially tea, will influence the flavour of chai. Chai tea leaves don't need to be of a super high quality, but they do need to be aromatic and fresh.

Spicy Masala Chai with Chilli

Homemade masala chai tea from a scratch
Prep Time10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: , Chai, Chilli


  • 2 small saucepan
  • Pestle and mortar


  • Gather all spices and crush them using a pestle and mortar.
  • Add spices to a small clean saucepan and dry roast them over medium-high heat.
  • Add water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, add tea and chilli and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add sugar and milk and bring it to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Strain the tea into a clean saucepan. Remove the spices and tea leaves from the other saucepan. Using these two small saucepans, pour the tea from a slight height from one into the other a few times. You can follow this process using two jugs or two bigger mugs, but small saucepans will be easier to use.
  • When the tea is bubbly, pour itinto a serving cup.

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