I don't remember if I learned to make chai! It's an essential drink in every home almost "national beverage of India". If you visit your friends or relatives, its pretty standard that they will offer you chai. No one says no to chai! Politely saying I just had tea before I headed your way is the best way to avoid another cup of that delicious milky chai (if needed)
My papa loves chai, and I got a lot of practice making chai for him growing up.
You can get many spices from the market, but I prefer my way the old traditional way -Indian chai is not what they serve at Starbucks. Indian chai is simple and made with love every morning in so many Indian households. Not that Starbucks is not making their chai-tea latte with love as you see they named it chai-chai because chai is the Indian name for tea! So I guess double love.
Here's how I make my "ek cup chai" (a cup of tea).
Recipe makes 4 cups of tea (divide by 4 to make an individual cup).
Cut ginger in small pieces (about 3 Tbsp.), take some cardamom pods (about 7-8) and crush them in a mortar.
Transfer the crushed ginger and cardamom seeds to a small saucepan, add the water (3 cups) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and add the tea- about 1.5 Tbsp. (Taj Mahal) that's the brand I like -it's available at an Indian grocery store. Let it boil.
Add the milk 1 cup, add sugar to taste, let it boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat, strain directly to a teacup and serve with favorite biscuits (parle-g cookies/ biscuit-the favorite snack of India ).
Roughly one part milk to two parts of water, half spoon of tea leaves strong infusion. Scale the measurements above to the number of servings you need.
Cook time 5-6 minutes