A delicious, warming Indian Ginger Tea made with fresh ginger roots, tea leaves and milk. This tea has a wonderful aroma and will have you coming back for more! It also includes many health benefits and can be made in just 15 minutes. Serve plain or with Indian snacks like pakoras, aloo tikki, vegetable cutlet, medu vada, or samosas.
About This Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is very popular in India and is a favorite chai of many Indians other than Masala Chai. It is known as Adrak chai or Adrak wali chai in India. As ginger is called as ‘adrak’ in Hindi language.
Tea is made in most Indian homes. Generally it is made with dairy milk. For vegan you can opt to use cashew milk, soy milk, almond milk or oats milk to make vegan ginger tea.
When using any plant based milk heat them separately until hot but not boiling and add it to the hot tea concoction. Mix and switch off the heat.
For a plant based tea I suggest to use cashew milk because it is smooth, rich and compliments the tea so well that you won’t even notice that it’s plant-based tea!
You can also leave out adding any milk to make this tea. I know many folks who love their ginger tea without milk.
There are a few variations of this tea. If you add certain spices to this tea then it becomes masala chai. You can also use a chai spice blend know as masala chai powder.
Other popular teas include mint tea (called pudina chai), and tulsi tea which are made with fresh mint leaves and tulsi leaves (holy basil). Ginger and mint can be used to make tea too.
Sometimes I make tea with ginger, green cardamom and lemongrass leaves. This concoction helps to alleviate migraines. I learned about this herbal remedy after my visit to a spice farm in Goa.
You can make this ginger tea with or without tea leaves but I prefer mine with tea leaves. Sometimes I also add ground cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, cloves, mint or tulsi leaves to this tea to give it a twist!
In addition, this tea has great health benefits. It prevents colds and coughs in the winter and also aids digestion.
How to make Ginger Tea
1. Wash, peel and crush the ginger in a mortar pestle. You can also opt to grate the ginger instead of crushing it. Then prepare all of the ingredients for this recipe.
2. Crush or powder 3 to 4 green cardamoms in a mortar-pestle.
3. In a saucepan or kettle, add 4 cups of water, 2 inches ginger grated and crushed green cardamoms with the peels.
4. Boil the water, ginger and green cardamom mixture for 4 to 5 minutes or until the color of the water changes to a mild yellowish hue. Once the juice from the ginger are released, it causes the water to change color.
5. Add 8 teaspoons of raw sugar or white sugar. You can add more or less of sugar according to your taste. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Now add 3 to 4 teaspoons of tea powder or black tea leaves.
For a stronger tea use Assam tea leaves or powder. For a milder version use Darjeeling tea leaves or powder. We always prefer our tea to have a strong flavor and so we use Assam tea powder.
If possible try to buy an organic brand of tea leaves or tea dust powder.
7. Simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes till the water gets a deep hue of red. To make your tea stronger simmer for about 3 minutes or as desired.
However, if you prefer a lighter tea then add the tea leaves to the water straight away. Switch off the heat. Cover and allow the tea leaves to steep in the hot spiced water for 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Add ¼ to ½ cup of milk. Some people prefer milky tea while others prefer less milk. It is entirely up to you!
9. Simmer for a minute or two. The milk can be at room temperature or cold. You can also use hot milk.
Note: If you are using cashew milk or almond milk, then heat them separately in another pan until hot but not boiling. Then mix with the tea and switch off the heat. Boiling further may cause the cashew or almond milk to become slimy and separate.
10. Strain the tea through a strainer into the cups.
Serve the hot ginger tea or adrak chai with Indian snacks such as bread pakora, shakkar pare, mathri or samosas. You can also serve this tea with biscuits or cookies.
- Green Cardamom: Maybe you don’t have cardamom on hand? Or maybe you are not a fan of cardamom. Whatever the case is you don’t have to add it to this tea. However, if you do want to add it to the tea then make sure it is crushed. If not you won’t get the full cardamom flavor. You can also use green cardamom powder instead.
- Ginger: Ginger is the main ingredient in this recipe and adds sweet and spicy flavors to the tea. It’s important to crush the ginger before adding it to the ginger tea otherwise you won’t get all of the ginger flavors. Alternatively, you can grate the ginger too. You have the option to add as much ginger as you like. If you want a strong ginger flavor, add more and if you want a milder ginger flavor then add less. You can also use ground ginger (ginger powder) but add in small amount.
- Milk: The amount of milk you add can be varied depending on your preference. If you like a stronger tea then add less milk and if you prefer a milkier tea then add more.
- Tea: If you want to make strong ginger tea then allow the water to come to 2 to 3 boils when making the tea. This will intensify the flavors of each ingredient. Conversely, for a weaker tea only boil the tea for a short period of time.
You can drink this tea at any time of the day but it is best to drink it in the morning as it charges up your metabolism and is known to prevent nausea. But don’t drink in the night as then you will have difficulty in getting sleep.
Make ginger tea from scratch by adding crushed ginger and green cardamom to the saucepan. Then pour water into the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the water begins to boil add sugar, tea leaves and milk (optional). Once the tea is ready pour it through a strainer into a cup and serve hot.
I would suggest that you boil the ginger for 4 to 5 minutes or until the water changes to a yellow hue. This way you will get all of the flavors from the ginger.
Yes. Boiling ginger is the best way to get it to release its natural compounds. Heating the ginger with water makes the ginger steep and results in a delicious flavorful tea.
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Ginger Tea Recipe (Adrak Chai)
- 4 cups water
- 3 to 4 teaspoon black tea powder or leaves
- 2 inch ginger for a strong taste or 1 inch ginger for a milder taste, peeled and either crushed or grated.
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms crushed or powdered in a mortar-pestle (optional)
- ¼ to ½ cup milk or cashew milk or soy milk – add more if you want a milky tea
- 8 teaspoon raw sugar or unrefined organic cane sugar, add more for more sweetness
- Rinse, peel and crush the ginger roots in a mortar pestle. You can also grate them if you want.
- Crush or powder 3 to 4 green cardamoms in a mortar-pestle.
Making ginger tea
- In a saucepan or kettle, add 4 cups of water, 2 inch ginger grated and the crushed green cardamoms with their peels.
- Boil this water-ginger-cardamom mixture for a good 4 to 5 minutes, till the color of the water changes to a mild yellowish hue. The ginger releases its juices and flavors in the water and thus the color of the water changes.
- Add 8 teaspoon sugar or as desired. Simmer for a more of 1 to 2 minutes.
- Now add 3 to 4 teaspoon of tea powder and simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes till the water gets a deep hue of red. To make your tea stronger simmer for about 3 minutes or as desired.
- Simmering makes the tea strong. If you prefer a light version, then just add the tea leaves to the water. Switch off the heat. Cover and allow the tea leaves to steep in the hot spiced water for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add ¼ to ½ cup of milk.
- Simmer for a minute or two.
- Strain the tea through a strainer right into the cups.
- Serve the hot ginger tea with indian snacks like pakoras, cutlet or samosas. You could also serve the tea with biscuits or cookies.
- Use fresh and tender ginger. You can also use ginger powder. But add in small amounts as it is very heaty. In this recipe you can add about ¼ teaspoon ginger powder.
- You can use either tea dust powder or tea leaves. Assam tea powder or leaves will make for a stronger tea. Darjeeling tea powder or leaves will give a mild tasting tea.
- The addition of milk is optional. Feel free to skip or alter the quantity of the milk.
- You can also use plant based milk to make vegan ginger tea. If you are using cashew milk or almond milk or oats milk, then heat them separately in another pan until hot but not boiling. Mix the hot plant based milk with the tea concoction. Switch off the heat. Boiling further may cause the cashew or almond milk to become slimy and separate.
- If it does not suit you omit the sugar or reduce the quantity.
- This recipe can be easily scaled.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Ginger Tea recipe from the blog archives first published in Feb 2013 has been republished and updated on June 2021.