Ma’s Ginger Chai Recipe
2-inch piece of peeled ginger (or to taste)
Assam CTC tea or other loose-leaf black tea
jaggery (unrefined sugar made from boiled palm sap or sugarcane juice), or as needed*
Instead of jaggery, you can use brown sugar or piloncillo, which is found in most Hispanic grocery stores.*Show Note
At Kolkata Chai Co. in New York’s East Village, Ani and Ayan Sanyal serve more than half a dozen types of chai, from the classic masala to more regional takes with accents like saffron and lime. Most chai in India is brewed with milk, but the brothers serve one departure from this tradition: this jaggery-sweetened black tea that’s full of fiery, fresh grated ginger.
- Boil water in a small pot.
- Once water comes to a rolling boil, grate and add ginger to your liking. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Bring to rolling boil again and add tea.
- Remove from heat and let sit covered for 2-3 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. If you're sick and your taste buds are weak, a stronger tea will help cut through.
- Strain the tea into a cup and stir in jaggery to taste.
- Drink, and instantly feel better (well, hopefully).
Devorah Lev-Tov is a Brooklyn-based food and travel writer. She has been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Tasting Table, and more.