Instant Pot Masala Chai + How to Make Chai for a Party

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Instant Pot Chai

There’s nothing better than drinking a cup of sweet, milky, spiced chai in the morning or really at any time of the day. This Instant Pot masala chai is so easy to make for yourself, for a few people, or even for a large group of people. My recipe for Instant Pot Masala Chai is from my cookbook, Indian Food Under Pressure.

You might wonder why anyone would make chai in a pressure cooker. It can be faster to make it on a stovetop, especially a single cup. But when you make it in a pressure cooker, there’s no need to babysit the tea. I always use my pressure cooker when making chai for friends or a large party because it’s such a hands-off recipe. I also like making chai for myself and my husband before work. I can prepare the tea, get ready for the day, then come downstairs to a fresh cup of steaming hot chai.

Why Make Chai in an Instant Pot?

  • It’s effortless to make for a large group of people
  • You don’t have to babysit a pot on the stove (great for those of us who have hands full with kiddos!)
  • no risk of having milk overflow onto the stovetop
  • do other things while chai simmers
Instant Pot Chai

There is a time and place for chai: always and anywhere. 😉😂

But what’s the best way to prepare chai?

I really think the answer to that question depends on your personal circumstance.

For example, if I have some time to spare, I’ll make a cup of Masala Chai on the stovetop. If you ask my Indian parents, that’s the only way to make proper chai. Sometimes, if I know I’m going to have a hectic week, I’ll prepare a batch of Chai Concentrate, so I don’t have to worry about making a fresh cup of chai every morning.

If I’m honest, I don’t know how parents of young kids find time to make and drink a hot cup of chai. I have a 16-month-old, and I literally have to re-heat my chai in the microwave four times before I can get through it (and yes, I realize that even bringing up a microwave is basically sacrilege when it comes to chai).

So when is the right situation to make chai in an Instant Pot? 

Whenever you need to make chai using the least amount of effort possible, yes, it may take longer than preparing it over the stove, but you won’t have to watch it simmer. I love this method of making chai when we have friends over. It’s the perfect way to make chai for a party. It’s really easy to scale the amount of chai according to the number of people in your group, too – see my recipe below for details on how to do that.

Instant Pot Chai

Tips for making Chai in an Instant Pot:

  • Make sure to wash the lid on your Instant Pot before you make chai. Otherwise, the chai will taste and smell like the last thing you cooked.
  • If possible, buy an extra silicone ring that you keep solely for sweet recipes. I have two rings, and one is dedicated to sweet dishes (desserts, oatmeal, plain rice, yogurt).
  • Chai is a personal thing. Give my recipe a try, then adapt the recipe to your taste. If you prefer more spice, add more spice, or if you prefer to drink a less milky chai, then change the ratio and use more water instead.

Instant Pot Chai for One or for a Party

Instant Pot Chai

Instant Pot Chai for One or for a Party

You might be wondering why anyone would make chai in a pressure cooker. It can be faster to make it on a stovetop, especially a single cup. But when you make it in a pressure cooker, there’s no need to babysit the tea. You can set it and forget it. I always use my pressure cooker when making chai for friends or for a large party because it’s such a hands off recipe. I also like making chai for myself and my husband everyday before work. I can prepare the tea, get ready for the day, then come downstairs to a fresh cup of steaming hot chai.
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Ingredients
 

Chai for 1

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 1 cardamom pod lightly crushed
  • 1 whole clove
  • Pinch of fennel seeds approx. 1⁄8 teaspoon
  • ½ cup milk
  • Sweetener adjust to taste

Chai for 4

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 4 cardamom pods lightly crushed 4 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cups milk
  • Sweetener adjust to taste

Chai for 10

  • 5 cups water
  • 10 black tea bags
  • 10 cardamom pods lightly crushed 10 whole cloves
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 5 cups milk
  • Sweetener adjust to taste

Instructions
 

  • Multiply the ingredients according to the number of people drinking chai.
  • Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and add water, black tea, cardamom pods, cloves and fennel seeds to the pot. Once the water begins to steam, pour the milk into the pot (make sure the water is steaming before adding the milk as this will prevent the milk from burning at the bottom of the pot).
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Add sweetener to taste, then serve.

Notes

  • You may want to adjust the proportions according to your taste (e.g. if you prefer stronger chai, add more tea or if you prefer less milk then use more water).
  • Make sure you have washed your lid prior to making chai, otherwise your chai will taste and smell like the last thing you cooked.
  • I suggest keeping a separate silicone ring for sweet recipes. In fact, I have two Instant Pots and one is dedicated to sweet dishes (desserts, oatmeal, plain rice, yogurt).
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Instant Pot Chai

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Cookbooks

Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Mansi says

    5 stars
    Just made this in the IP for the 1st time. I am normally a coffee drinker, but as soon as the weather turns cold, I crave masala chai. Making this on the stove top has always been the most annoying part, but your recipe and doing it in the IP is a game changer. I used loose black tea to make it and I would say the 1st attempt was a solid B+, but next time I’ll make some adjustments to the amount of tea I used to make it absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  2. Sharmila Singh says

    HI Ashley , I tried this recipe & it came out perfect. Thank You So much. Just wondering if i can add all the ingredients and set delay timer ? so that my chai will be ready by the time i wake up.

  3. Jasmine Cooper says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, this is such a great recipe. I can do my other stuff while the tea boils in the IP. And it tastes amazing. You are a genius

  4. Emily Hale says

    Looking to try this recipe! My 2 girls, both adopted from India, love their chai. Do you think I could make a big batch, refrigerate it, and then re-heat it on the stovetop throughout the week? I’m sure it’s best fresh, but do you think this would work?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Emily, that is so awesome! Personally, I’d make it without the milk – then add milk daily – it shouldn’t be more work since you’ll be reheating it anyway. Let me know how that goes!

  5. Sandhya says

    Can I use PIP for making the chai? If so, will I just need to adjust the timings or can I skip the saute and pressure cook directly?

  6. Lekha says

    My milk spilled out of the instant pot when I tried this recipe. What did I do wrong? I thought I followed all the instructions.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lekha, let’s see if we can troubleshoot! A few questions – did you fill the milk past the max line? Did you quick release or release pressure before it dropped on it’s own?

  7. Archana says

    What is the max number of cups of tea I can make in IP? I have a 6 qt and want to make chai for a party I’m having this weekend. Need a total of at least 30 cups of chai. Can I make it in one shot?

    Thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi! The max I’ve done is for 10 people but you should be able to go until the max fill line – I would probably NPR though because if you try to release it yourself and it’s really full then it might spray out the valve.

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