If you love the warm and dynamic flavors of chai, you will adore this blend of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper. Make this chai spice mix to keep handy in your pantry for whenever the mood strikes!
What is chai
If you've come across chai a lot, maybe even tasted it, but still aren't 100% sure what it is, I will break it down for you.
The word chai is Hindi for tea and originates from the Mandarin word ch'a. So, when you hear someone asking for "chai tea", they are basically asking for "tea tea."
You may have heard the term masala chai. This translates to spice tea which is the type of chai that is so well known now in western culture.
There are so many types of masala used in chai depending on the region, culture, availability, and preferences. Typically, they will have a lot of the same basic spices with tweaks, additions, and omissions here and there.
There are a lot of variations for the chai spice mix, these are the spices I typically like to use.
- Black pepper
For me, this has a nice balance of sweetness and heat, which is important to me in a good chai. The cardamom and cinnamon adds sweetness, while the ginger and black pepper adds spice.
They're all also warming spices which is especially nice during the cooler months, but is also surprisingly fun during the warmer months when incorporated into something cold like an iced chai.
How to use
There are so many ways you can use this chai spice mix. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use them!
- Cinnamon rolls - You can grab my chai cinnamon rolls here.
- Coffee cake - My apple chai coffee cake is great.
- Cookies - These chai sugar cookies are great, but if you want a bar, you can try these chai brownies.
- Hot chocolate - This chai hot chocolate is really good!
- Teas/tea lattes
- Simple syrup
In all honesty, it can work so well in just about anything you can think of. You can use it to substitute pumpkin spice or apple pie spice in recipes, and if you add it to your simple syrup, you can include it in all different kinds of drinks and cocktails.
- 4 tablespoons ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons ground cloves
- 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 - 2 teaspoons ground black peppper
- Add your ingredients to a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Pour your chai spice mix into a small airtight container carefully.
- Close the container well, and give it a quick shake to further mix.
- Store in an airtight container.
- You can multiply or divide the recipe as much as you need.
- If you want to switch up the flavors of the mix, I recommend experimenting with different flavors. I recommend scraping the seeds from a vanilla pod into the mix. Keep the whole pod in the container to enhance the vanilla flavor even more. If you like more heat, you can add a ¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne.