Indian Masala Chai

The arrival of monsoon in India made me write this down specifically, about the hot tea or “garam chai”. Tea basically comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis. It is widely known as “Chai” which translates to “tea” in Hindi in India and globally known as Chai Tea Latte  meaning “tea tea with milk”). Tea came to India from China, but was popularised largely by the British, who also disseminated it across the globe during the colonial era. In India, you would come across numerous tea vendors (chai wallahs) preparing this rich Masala Chai over an open fire in small stands and stalls and serving it in clay tea cups (Kullads). You can find them in every nook and corner. Chai is an inexpensive and soothing traditional beverage and you can make it at home. In India, tea forms a part of daily routine in the households. Wherever Indians go the tea follows! It works best in cold weather to give you warmth, I enjoyed it during my stays in Udaipur and Manali in India.

This hot tea is loved by many either as a morning drink or a meet up drink or to pep up to get to work and a go to drink during monsoon times. Interestingly it can be turned into a immunity booster drink to get your daily immunity shot during the pandemic of COVID-19.

To make it more healthy and delicious, in India we add our spices from our rich heritage – masala/ spices box and we call it Masala Chai which not only is an Indian delicacy but offers numerous health benefits as the spices have immune boosting properties.

Well, you can prepare it yourself! Let’s prepare it together! Have a look at the Masala Chai benefits and get your ingredients ready.

What are the health benefits of Indian masala chai?

The spices used in Masala Chai are functional foods with many health benefits such as:

  • Ginger is anti-inflammatory relieves aches and pain,  improves digestion, reduces nausea and vomiting, prevents ulcers, protects against symptoms of cold and flu, stimulates blood circulation and metabolism and reduces cholesterol.
  • Cardamom improves appetite, digestion and provide relief from acidity in the stomach. It is also beneficial to the kidneys and urinary tract system.
  • Cloves have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, improves digestion and metabolism, protects against digestive disorders.
  • Ginger, clove, and cardamom relax your muscles and nerves, reducing the pain during period cramping in pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Cinnamon also offers anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties. It has LDL cholesterol and blood sugar lowering effects, hence beneficial in  Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Black Pepper is a powerful anti-oxidant, improves digestion and promotes gut health. It helps in respiratory conditions including colds, coughs, and flu.
  • Star Anise aids digestion, alleviates cramps and reduces nausea. It also helps in preventing constipation, supports good sleep, promotes bone and skin health.

Indian Masala Chai Recipe:


  • Water:100 ml
  • Milk: 100 ml
  • Black tea/ loose leaf: 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Jaggery Powder: 1 tsp
  • Spices:
    • Cloves: 1-2
    • Cardamom: 1
    • Cinnamon: 1/4 stick
    • Peppercorns: 2 nos.
    • Ginger: grated ¼ tsp
    • Star Anise: optional


  • Boil ½ cup of water
  • Upon boiling add all the light crushed spices and black tea/leaf and boil it for 2 minutes
  • Add jaggery and milk, simmer for 2 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and strain the masala chai in to the teacup.

So, do use the ingredients mentioned above in your regular tea to make it a complete Indian Masala chai. Do share your experience in the comments below.

Enjoy your cup of masala chai, an Indian cultural experience!

Dr. Monal Velangi


Turmeric Drinks to Boost Immunity

Turmeric powder commonly known as haldi holds a crucial place in our spice box and in Indian cuisine. This typical yellow coloured spice is the ground form of the turmeric root. There are about 30 varieties of turmeric. Best varieties are found in south India, amongst which organic “Salem” is widely preferred.

Turmeric contains bioactive compound curcumin, which has several functional properties which provides medicinal benefits as follows:

  1. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and pain relief : bone disorders (arthritis, joint pain), cancer, heart diseases, eye disorders (age related macular degeneration , mebomitis), brain health (Alzheimer’s and depression)
  2. Anti-viral, antifungal and antimicrobial and immunity boosting effects (cold and cough, skin rashes, allergies)
  3. Wound healing : Post-operative cases, cuts and bruises.
  4. Antioxidant : Anti- aging, protects against pollution.

How to make the most out of the turmeric spice in beverages?

For maximum benefit use it with pepper, as its piperine improves curcumin absorption or ghee or virgin coconut oil , curcumin being fat soluble can help in better absorption. 

Home based DIY Recipes

  1. Turmeric tea / Golden tea: A) Bring 250 ml of water to a boil. Add ¼th teaspoon of turmeric  powder, simmer and steep for 10 minutes. Strain this tea through a strainer into a cup. To this add 1/8th teaspoon pepper, ¼th teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon lemon; or B) Bring 250 ml of water to a boil. Add 2 cloves, ¼th teaspoon cinnamon powder, ¼th teaspoon of turmeric powder, ¼th teaspoon pepper powder to it. Allow it to steep for about 5 minutes before pouring in the cup. Best time: Early morning.
  2. Haldi milk/ Golden Milk: Add ¼th teaspoon of turmeric powder to 1 cup of milk and bring it to a boil. Further to this add 2 strands of saffron , ¼th teaspoon ghee and ¼th teaspoon honey. Best time: Early morning or bed time.
  3. Turmeric Coconut latte / Golden Coconut milk : Take 1 cup of coconut milk , add ¼th tsp turmeric powder, ½ inch grated ginger and bring it to a boil. To this add, 2 strands of saffron 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil and ¼th teaspoon honey. Best time: Mid morning or late evening

Caution: Consult your nutritionist / dietitian before taking any supplements.

Dr. Monal Velangi

MoVe towards a healthier you!

Eating the Rainbow: A Super Foods Pick List

Have you ever charted out health goals and then got sidetracked? The common reasons for this are daily routine, busy schedules, boredom, decision making fatigue etc. Developing healthy habits and making healthy choices form the cornerstones of healthy living. Smart planning can help you out. As we always read, hear and understand have a colorful platter; the gap is we are unable to put it into practise. For healthy eating we need to include an array of visually appealing, nutritious, healthy, and colorful foods.

The pigments (carotenoids, anthocyanins etc.) in the food are responsible for their different colors. These visually appealing colors satisfy our eyeballs, while these colourful foods also provide us with macronutrients, micronutrients, antioxidants and bioactives (polyphenols), which have several health benefits. Hence, to get the maximum benefit of such foods and to make your lives simpler; I have made an easy to use picklist based on color.

Eat the Rainbow: Super Foods Pick List

Do try implementing it in your daily routine while you make your grocery lists and see the effective result in your goal of healthy eating. Feel free to connect / email for any health and nutrition concerns.

Dr. Monal Velangi