Indian Tea

I love my Mum's tea - it has very few ingredients but there's something about the way she makes it. She doesn't have a recipe, she just eyeballs it and adjusts the ingredients slightly depending on the colour and smell.

In many Indian households, including my parents' home, they don't do tea-bag tea. It's got to be properly brewed tea with spices - a must first thing in the morning and again late afternoon, often after a short nap to feel refreshed. I love this ritual and when I'm in East Africa, the best thing with my morning tea is mandazi's (see recipe here). There's always a pot of tea, enough for anyone who drops by.

The way I make my tea has undoubtedly been inspired by my Mum's method. I've always eye balled it just like her, using my prized enamel tea pot from Kenya called a 'biriko'. It's a beautiful hand-painted pot that was gifted by a good friend and I'm pleased to say it's still going strong years later, despite all the scuffs, chips and tea stains it's encountered.

While my tea will never be the same as my Mum's, I thought I should try and note down the method as best as possible in honour of Mother's Day. So here's my recipe below. Please note I do adjust the ingredients based on the smell and colour and recommend you do the same according to your preference.

It's one of those recipes that I ended up figuring out through trial and error, and I know I add way more cardamom than is the norm (don't be shocked at the amount below!) but that's the way I like it.

Serves 4


  • 4 tea bags

  • 2 tsp brown sugar

  • 10 cardamom pods pounded in a pestle & mortar

  • 4 cups just boiled water from the kettle

  • A quarter of a cup of evaporated milk