Chai Spiced Milk

There is--possibly, maybe--snow in the forecast at the end of this week.  I know that, if it comes at all, it will just be flurries.  But as I came home from yoga tonight, I couldn't help but think, "Do we have enough milk to weather a snowstorm?"

Mostly because the Kid drinks gallons of it, but also so I can make this chai spiced milk that I wrote about on Sparkle Kitchen a few weeks ago.

“Chai” is the Hindi word for “tea”, so ordering a “chai tea” is technically redundant.  Nonetheless, in America, the word “chai” is commonly associated with a blend of warm spices like cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.  A “chai tea”, as we call it, is a blend of those spices in a milky tea.

While chai tea is nice, I’ve found that I enjoy chai spices steeped in plain warm milk almost more.  If you’re sensitive to caffeine — or prefer not to have your children drink caffeinated drinks — it’s a great way to enjoy the warm Asian spices on their own.  Not only that, but it will make your kitchen smell like pumpkin pie!

The following recipe is a starting place for making your own chai spiced milk, but feel free to modify it to suit your own tastes.

Chai Spiced Milk


  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 cardamon pods

  • 4 cloves

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 slices ginger

  • 1/2 of one nutmeg, grated

  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T Assam Tea (optional)

  • 1 T honey (optional)


Measure 2 cups of milk into a saucepan.  Gently crush the cardamon, cloves, coriander, cinnamon, and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife.  Add those spices into the milk, along with the sliced ginger, grated nutmeg, and vanilla. 

Bring the milk to a gentle boil, stirring frequently, then let it simmer for about 5 more minutes.  (If you want to add tea, measure in about 2 tablespoons, and let simmer for 2 more minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat, and use a fine sieve to strain off the solids. 

Give the spiced milk a taste.  If you’d like it a little sweeter, feel free to add a dollop of honey.  Then, whisk the milk to make it just a little frothy, and grate a few more sprinkles of nutmeg on top.