Cardamom Ginger Tea

Before the colonial rule our ancestors used to serve classic refreshments like Ayurvedic lemonade (panakam), buttermilk, spiced-milk, elixir, etc. to their guests. Later it became a tradition to serve beverages like tea or coffee to our guests. Nowadays tea breaks have become the order of a day in every institution across India. Every conversation, whether an important official discussion or a trivial gossip, begins with a sip of refreshing cardamom ginger tea or masala chai. Apparently tea shops turn out to be a place for making friends, discussing international, national and local news and also a place for finding solutions for social issues.

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Our Prime Minister served tea to his guest

During heavy downpour people used to take shelter in a nearby tea shop as they all like to relish hot ginger tea to keep them warm. So every tea shop tries to woo the customers by serving a cup of hot flavorful spiced tea along with delightful accompaniments like samosa, masal vadai, bajji, etc. during monsoon.

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Ginger Tea with Punjabi Samosa & Dates-tamarind Sauce

It has been raining here almost every evening, and I also like to serve my family a glass of classic ginger tea along with plantain fritters (vazhakkai bajji) to enjoy the cool breezy weather that happens to last only for few days in a year.

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Ginger tea with South Indian Bajji & Chutney

Cardamom Ginger Tea Recipe

We, Indians, generally use leaf tea or dust tea to prepare black tea as well as white tea (tea with milk). I prefer to use leaf tea which is more aromatic than dust tea, but dust tea is stronger than leaf tea. Hence it is required to double the quantity of leaf tea while making tea.

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Leaf tea

Lately we have been cutting down the intake white sugar to a large extent, and I have started using other alternates like cane jaggery, palm jaggery, coconut sugar, etc. Here I have used palm sugar crystals (panangarkandu) and I find palm sugar as the best sweetener for tea and palm jaggery (karuppatti) for coffee. Now the recipe for cardamom ginger tea using palm sugar is as below:

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Hot Ginger Caradamom Tea served in South Indian Dabara

Yields: 500 ml


Hot milk*300 ml
Water250 ml
Leaf tea**2 tbsp
Palm sugar crystals2 tbsp

**Instead you can add a tablespoon of dust tea

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Tea with milk & palm sugar

How to make spiced tea:

  • Mince ginger using fine-toothed grater, crush the seeds of cardamom using mortar & pestle and keep them aside.
  • Heat a sauce pan with water in high flame.
  • Add leaf tea, minced ginger and palm sugar into the sauce pan and bring it to boil.
  • Now reduce the flame to low and pour hot milk into the pan.
  • Finally stir in cardamom powder just before removing the pan from heat.
  • Immediately strain the tea through a tea-strainer.
  • Serve hot cardamom ginger tea with crunchy savory snacks.
tea-making Cardamom Ginger Tea
How to make cardamom ginger tea

*Since adding cold milk into hot decoction of tea & ginger would lead to curdling of milk, it is required to add hot milk while preparing spiced tea.

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  1. Your photos are so enticing, Megala! I love, love, love cardamom, and use it as much as possible: in my brown rice, in morning fruit & veggie smoothies, on top of oatmeal, in home brewed teas . . . but I’ve never tried just ginger and cardamom. You’ve inspired me! 🌞

  2. Megala, I love to drink tea, i make myself a large pot of tea every day.
    I haven’t tried cardamon-ginger tea yet, but I’ll be happy to try it.
    I always use cardamom capsules to prepare hot “glΓΆgg” in winter, so i always have some in the house.
    Megala, I wish a smooth, joyfull, healthy and very happy new year to you.
    Rosie from Germany πŸŽ‰πŸ€—πŸŽˆ

  3. Happy New Year, dear Megala!
    Ginger Caradamom Tea is the best for the cold new year day! Thank you for sharing.
    Best wishes to you and family!

  4. So much can happen with with this one cup of wonderful ginger – cardamom tea! Lots of gossip with friends, late night exams preparations, a lot helpful during work from home and having sips while posting the blog😊

  5. When I was reading through, you brought memories of my college days tea being the center of afternoon break and lots of fun chats. Coming back, love the ginger cardamom tea especially in the cold days.

    An unrelated question to tea – for payasam or laddu etc, some one told me to roast the cardamom and then grind the entire pod. I normally grind only the tiny black seeds. Can the whole pod (skin) be ground and used in recipes?

    1. Thanks so much for the nice comment.
      My mother used to brew the tea along with cardamom skin alone as it also flavorful. It is absolutely our choice whether to use the peel or not.

  6. I am discovering the delights of cardamon and love this combination of ginger cardamon tea! Thanks for the interesting post and sharing the history of tea drinking in India πŸ™‚

  7. Such a nice and interesting post on ginger cardamom tea Megala! Being a fan of tea, totally loved the beautiful presentation , the snack plate with the tea and froth is so tempting. I have not tried palm sugar with tea but back home in my native, they used to often put it in black coffee .

  8. Yum! I love spiced tea! I’ve been making chai in the mornings lately with oat milk and it’s so warming for the winter. Here’s a question for you that I’ve always wondered~ when is ‘tea time’ exactly?

    1. People used to have tea breaks at 11 am & 3 pm, but quite a few busy bees live only on tea or “cutting chai”. πŸ™‚
      I have never tried making dairy-free tea, now I’m motivated to try plant-based milk also.
      Thanks so much, Kristen.

    1. They both elevate the tea to a whole new level, I just can’t imagine a tea without them. πŸ™‚ Thanks much, Radhika.

  9. This would be delicious. I always drink loose leaf tea and my favorites are the Darjeeling estate teas. I shall try this recipe though . It would be good for the cold weather we are having I think.

  10. I know so little about tea – this is exceedingly enlightening for me. Thank you for such good information. ;->

    Virtual hugs,


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