Chai (Spice Tea)

by cookwith2nomads

It is amazing to see how international the humble cup of chai tea has become. Once common only in homely kitchens, it is now increasingly a popular drink of choice for the latte-sipping trendy folk.  We think they are onto a good thing, but we’ve been in the know for a longer time!

I came across a great word ‘chaivinist’, which someone humorously translated to mean ‘a person displaying aggressive, exaggerated and prejudiced love for chai’. We Somalis would concur and agree that we are definitely shaahvinists!  Here is our recipe for making a great tasting cup of home-made chai or shaah cadeys as we call it in Somali.

You can change the spices to suit your taste. Add sugar or honey if you prefer. Or just have your chai without any sweetener. Some people like their chai without milk, so you can omit the milk if you wish, but use less tea leaves for a less stronger brew.

We love to have our chai for casariya (afternoon tea) with khamiir (a sweet doughnut type pastry) or samosa.

Chai (Spice Tea)

Serves: 3 - 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of tea leaves (use a strong tea like Kenyan)
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger (you can use minced fresh ginger)
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • Sugar to taste


  1. Grind all the spices
  2. Place the water and spices in a saucepan
  3. Add the tea leaves and bring to boil
  4. Add the milk and heat through for two to three minutes
  5. Sieve the tea into a pot and serve hot.


Author : Abderazzaq Noor
Recipe by : Abderazzaq Noor

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