Slice the ginger, and lightly crush the cardamom pods. Prepare the other spices. If you don't mind the extra step, coarsely grind all of the spices together.
Put the water and all of the spices in a sauce pan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes to release the aroma of the spices.
Add the teabags, then boil for about 2 minutes on low to medium heat.
Add the milk and sugar, then reheat on low.
Turn off heat right before bringing it to a boil.
Strain the tea into teacups, and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is the chai that my aunt made for me when I visited her home. Masala chai is served for auspicious occasions, or when entertaining visitors. I usually make ginger chai (see Recipe ID: 777254).
The best ratio of milk to water is 1:2. Add a bit more sugar than usual. In Step 4, to incorporate air, scoop out the chai with a spoon, then pour it back into the sauce pan at a height 30 cm above. Repeat this several times.