Karak Chai

I found this tea on a recent trip to the UAE but have learned that it is popular all over the Middle East. Roughly translated, karak chai means 'strong tea'. It differs from Masala chai by using fewer spices, slightly stronger tea, evaporated milk, and lump sugar. I make up a big batch in the morning and drink it throughout the day. It's nice chilled or reheated.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
2 servings


  • 3 cups water

  • 2 Assam tea bags

  • 2 Ceylon tea bags

  • cup Chinese lump white sugar

  • 1 (1/4 inch thick) slice fresh ginger

  • ½ inch cinnamon stick

  • 2 dried rose buds

  • 3 pods green cardamom

  • 2 pods black cardamom

  • 1 cup evaporated milk


  1. Heat water in a small saucepan until bubbles start to form around the edges. Add tea bags. Reduce heat to a simmer.

  2. Lightly crush lump sugar, ginger, cinnamon, rose buds, and cardamom pods in a mortar. Stir into the pot. Simmer until the tea bags and spices have become saturated, about 3 minutes. Add evaporated milk. Stir and simmer, without boiling, until sugar has dissolved and tea reaches the desired strength, about 8 minutes for strong tea. Strain into mugs.

Cook's Note:

This uses Chinese rock sugar to avoid the caramel overtones found in cane sugar. Plain white granulated sugar can be used but may change the flavor.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

223 Calories
10g Fat
26g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 223
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 144mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 345mg 27%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 456mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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