Doodh Cha (Milk Tea)

from Meena Can’t Wait

When I was little, my nanu (whom I called Api) introduced me to doodh cha, just like Meena’s nanu did. Our tea parties for two were so much fun! Api made my favorite snacks – samosas, dal puri and banana bread – and she was a great cook. She would tell me stories of her childhood as we drank our cha, and she introduced me to aspects of Bangladeshi culture I wasn’t familiar with (such as certain tasty snacks that are popular there, like paratha and egg halwa). I learned so much about my country of origin through her and remember our visits very fondly now…especially when I have a cup of cha. Try out my family recipe:


3 cup (710 mL) water

4 pods cardamom, crushed

6 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh ginger, grated

1 ½ cups (355 mL) milk

3 ½ teaspoons (17 mL) sugar (add more as needed to taste)

4 teaspoons (20 mL) strong black tea leaves


Add water to a medium-sized saucepan.

Add the spices. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, to let them steep.

Remove from heat. Add milk, sugar and tea.

Stir and bring mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to very low and let simmer for 25 minutes.

Pour into a teapot and then strain into mugs to pour over a strainer directly into cups.

Enjoy! Makes 4 cups of tea.

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: Every culture has their spin on tea. I grew up on milk tea from my eastern European grandmother…sweet, milky and full of flavour. Try this recipe, then put your own spin on it using different spices.

Recipe used with permission by Orca Book Publishers. Stock photos.