Using Tea in Indian Cuisine: Things to Know

Tea is not just a drink but an obsession for many Indians. It is like a staple food for them, in the evening and early in the morning. Bed tea has almost got a cult status in the country.

It may be surprising for the outsiders but the fact that many Indian teens, youths, and especially Indian males of all ages love morning slurp on their bed is widely acknowledged across the country.

Darjeeling tea is world-famous for its flavor which is grown in India.

What is Tea?

Using Tea in Indian Cuisine

Tea is a hot or cold beverage made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

It is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water and is enjoyed for its flavor, aroma, and potential health benefits.

The tea plant is native to East Asia but is now grown in many countries, including India, China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Turkey.

There are several types of tea, including black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, and herbal tea, each with its own unique flavor and health properties.

Uses of Tea in Indian Cuisines

Though Indian chai means tea, milk, and sugar in the right proportion, Gen Y goes gaga over black tea.

It is prepared with plain water and tea, with sugar being an option for the drinkers. According to doctors and nutritionists, black tea keeps people healthy.

Those with high blood sugar usually avoid sugar in their tea. Though there is a large variety in the process of tea making across the country, the most well-known type is rich and milky, flavourful and colored, sweet and steaming hot.

The light North American type pales in comparison with Indian chai.

In India, you can see tea stalls on almost every corner. Most of them sell milk and masala tea. However, they also make black tea on request.

Making tea is an art in the country. The way milk is boiled, tea is poured back and forth in two glasses and the quality of tea leaves bring the “asli swad and swag” (the real-life taste and swag) to the drink.

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Though consumed in every season, tea is most loved in chilly months and monsoon days, especially when served with hot pakoras or fritters.

Masala chai is a sweet, spicy, and aromatic hot drink loved by millions of Indians.

Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, fennel seeds, nutmeg, and basil leaves are freshly ground and mixed with ginger powder.

This powder mix is then added to the brewing mix of tea, milk, and sugar.

The mix of aromatic herbs and spices makes this masala chai special and fragrant. Every sip refreshes your taste buds and soothes your senses.

Ginger tea is another special type that uses thin slices of ginger with or without basic flavourful spices. This tea tastes best on winter and rainy days.

Kashmiri tea is an amazing treat for tea addicts. Moreover, there are some interesting varieties of Kashmiri tea, with pink tea and kahwa tea being the most popular bouquet.

Pink tea is a Pakistani beverage. It is loved for its rich, creamy, and sweet taste.

A tea base, called kehwa or kahwa, is prepared with Kashmiri green tea leaves and aromatic spices including cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, and star anise. Then milk and sugar are added to boiled kehwa to prepare the tea.

Kashmiri pink tea is also known as noon chai. Traditionally, salt was added to tea but over time, people started using sugar to give the drink a richer taste. Kashmir has an exclusive variety of fragrant tea leaves.

The reaction between tea leaves and baking soda is the key to getting the rosy hue. The more air is incorporated into kehwa, the pinkier your tea gets.

Kashmiri kahwa or kahwa is a traditional, rich drink from the Himalayan valley. The soul-warming chai comes alive with aromatic spices and teases your senses.

Green tea is boiled with a handful of flavorsome spices and served with chopped almonds and a pinch of saffron.

The tea gets the color of saffron. Just imagine how beautiful, flavourful and tasty it gets. Perfect for small, slurping, and even bites!

Both Kashmiri pink tea and kehwa will perk up your energy on a chilly winter day and keep you warm.

Tea water can be used while preparing meat to get a decent brownish color.

However, one needs to use only a little amount of it; otherwise, the toasty bitterness will overwhelm the taste.

You can also make Iced tea, cream tea, and more as per your choice of refreshment.

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What Are the Different Types of Tea in India?

India is home to a wide variety of teas, ranging from traditional black tea to unique and flavorful blends. Here are some of the most popular types of tea in India:

Assam tea: Grown in the northeastern state of Assam, this tea is known for its strong and malty flavor.

Darjeeling tea: Grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, this tea is known for its delicate and floral flavor.

Nilgiri tea: Grown in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India, this tea has a fragrant and fruity flavor.

How To Make Tea Step by Step?

Sure, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple cup of tea:


  • Water
  • Tea leaves or tea bags
  • Milk (optional)
  • Sugar or honey (optional)


  • Fill a pot or kettle with fresh water and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the water has boiled, remove it from heat and let it sit for a few seconds to cool down slightly.
  • If using loose tea leaves, add one teaspoon per cup of tea. If using tea bags, add one tea bag per cup of tea.
  • Pour the hot water over the tea leaves or tea bag, and let it steep for 2-5 minutes, depending on the strength of the tea you prefer.
  • While the tea is steeping, you can add milk and sugar or honey to your cup, if desired.
  • Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea leaves or tea bag from the pot or cup.
  • Pour the tea into your cup, and stir in the milk and sugar or honey, if desired.
  • Enjoy your freshly brewed cup of tea!

Note: Adjust the amount of tea leaves, steeping time, and milk/sugar to your liking, as everyone has different preferences for how they like their tea.

What Are the Ingredients Used to Make Tea?

There are some of the basic ingredients which give you the best taste of Indian tea.

  • Bay leaves: This is accelerating the refreshing taste of the tea.
  • Black Peppercorn: You can see that there are the best ingredients when pounded and used directly in making masala chai.
  • Cardamom: You can simply have a perfect cup of tea with a pinch of cardamom. The aroma of the cardamom makes the tea unique.
  • Cinnamon: You can add cinnamon to the tea. It gives you a rejuvenating experience in the tea.
  • Ginger: Ginger makes the flavor much richer and aromatic.
  • Star Anise (Chakra Phool): This taste is a little bit hard but when you are making strong masala chai you can have it.
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What Are the Golden Rules of Making Tea?

For making tea, it is necessary to have some golden rules which are giving you the best brew.

  • Brewing time should be given perfectly. You must give the required time to brew the tea perfectly.
  • You must check out the temperature to brew the tea. It is necessary to know which kind of tea is good for a certain temperature.
  • You must use clean water so that the taste of the tea remains good.
  • Making it in small quantities so that you can get a better way of having tea.
  • Heat the mug or teapot before you pour the tea into it. This will enhance the whole taste and make it perfect.
  • Stir your tea when you are adding sugar and milk.
  • Only add skimmed milk which is good for making the tea taste better.
  • You need to store the tea very nicely and perfectly. So, the nice aroma remains.

Questions & Answers

How Do You Make Easy Tea?

The easiest way to make tea is to make hot water in the electric kettle and then add water into the mug and add a tea dip (flavors as per your choice) into it. Add sugar and milk as per your need. Easy tea is ready.

What is the Ratio of Tea to Water?

The best ratio of tea and water is every 1 spoon of tea there are 6 ounces of water. But it depends on individual taste.

Why We Should Not Boil Tea Again?

The tea leaves are all burnt up when you will start boiling it in the first place and boiling it again will make it worse.

What is Tea Called in Different Languages?

Tea is an English word and it is known as “Cha” in Bengali and “Chai” in Hindi.


Tea-making is considered an art in India, and the country boasts a wide range of tea blends and styles.

Masala chai, ginger tea, and Kashmiri tea are some of the most popular varieties, each with its unique blend of spices and flavors.

Tea can be used in Indian cuisine as well, and there are various ways to make tea, depending on one’s preferences.

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