* for each cup of chai that you want, take half a cup of milk, and half a cup of water.
* with a pestle, smash ginger, cloves and cardamoms (about 1/2" piece of ginger, one clove and one cardamom for 2 cups of chai) at the bottom of the pan in which you will make the chai.
Or, you can add ginger powder, elaichi powder, and clove powder to the milk/water mixture.
If you don't want to make masala chai, leave this step out.
* Add the chai to the milk/water mixture. If it's Taj Mahal, Yellow Label, or Lipton Red Label (the two varities most easily available in the US)...add a rounded tablespoon (yes!) or a measured tablespoon and a half, per cup. If you can let the mixture steep for a while, it's better.
* Now boil the whole thing, let it boil for about 15 to 30 seconds, and then switch off and cover for about half a minute.
* Strain the chai, and serve (sugar can be added while boiling, but I prefer not to, as drinkers can add the amount they want.)
This way, I find, that whether there are 3 people or 30, I make exactly as many cups as required, and there is no wastage!
Microwave the whole tea-steeped mixture, with or without masala, in the microwave UNTIL it boils (use a large enough container so that it doesn't overflow). Take out, strain AFTER half a minute, and serve.
*You need to add enough chai to make a nice brownish chai, it shouldn't be too white!
I love 3 Roses Tea in India for making chai. chaibacca's favourite is Society Tea, available only in Mumbai, alas!