Chai spices, which have permeated cultures for over 5,000 years, remains a staple of Punjab cuisine and is typically served in hot milky tea following a main meal. We’ve included dried rose petals to the traditional chai spices of green cardamom, peppercorns, fennel & cloves (among other spices).
There are a lot of different chai spices. The traditional masala chai is a spiced beverage brewed with different proportions of warming spices. The spice mixture, called Karha, uses a base of ground ginger and green cardamom pods. Other spices are usually added to this base or karha. For example, most masala chai found on the street, in restaurants or in homes incorporates one or more of the following along with ginger and cardamom, namely: cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg and cloves. In the Western world, using allspice, to either replace or complement the cinnamon and clove, is also common.
Traditionally, cardamom is a dominant note, supplemented by other spices such as cloves, ginger, or black pepper; the latter two add a heat to the flavor. The traditional composition of spices often differs by climate and region in Southern and Southwestern Asia.
For example, in Western India, cloves and black pepper are expressly avoided. The Kashmiri version of chai is brewed with green tea instead of black tea and has a more subtle blend of flavorings: almonds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and sometimes saffron. In Bhopal, typically, a pinch of salt is added.