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Chai: Spiced Tea With Ginger and Cardamom

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta shared his mother’s variation on chai, a warming, aromatic spiced tea. Damyanti Gupta’s version includes brown sugar, which Gupta says is “almost like molasses, but better.”

If you’re watching your sugar intake, feel free to omit. You can use loose leaf tea, but tea bags can make it more manageable.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
  • 3 tea bags, preferably strong black tea such as Assam
  • 1 cup of half-and-half


1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan or small pot. As the water heats up, add the ginger, cardamom and, if using, brown sugar.

2. Once water has reached a boil, reduce to medium-low heat so it simmers with gentle bubbles. Add the tea bags and half-and-half.Using tea bags simplifies the process.Using tea bags simplifies the process.

3. Let the liquid slowly come to a boil once again, then remove from heat.Gupta says making chai isn't just about the drink but also the tradition surrounding it.Gupta says making chai isn’t just about the drink but also the tradition surrounding it.

4. Remove tea bags and carefully pour tea into teapot or cups.

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