This is an uncompromised masala chai, not toned down for perceived Western audiences. What makes this recipe authentic is not just in the spice selection which indeed, packs heat, but most importantly the choice of a proper tea base – the Assam CTC.
Masala chai is to be brewed with at least 50% milk (or alternative) meaning a strong tea base is needed to cut through. Orthodox length tea will not do – CTC (cut, tear & curl) a process to granulate tea to maximise surface area is therefore essential. This will ensure that along with spices, you actually taste tea and the resulting liquor is rich, amber and tantalising.
On any given day on the streets of Mumbai, this is what you’d be drinking.