Yemeni Chai


In Arabic and several other languages such as those in India the word chai simply means tea. All over the world regions have their own special tea recipe. Here in Riyadh, they drink black tea with habek or mint. In the UAE they love to have milk with their tea and of course in some areas of Yemen such as Aden so do they. A lot of Arabs like to use evaporated milk in their tea, but I prefer fresh milk.

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons loose black tea
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods, brusied
3 cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Sugar, to taste

1. In a saucepan water, tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

2. Add milk and sugar and allow to warm. Pour through a sieve, then serve.

Yields: 4 servings

*I wanted to share my latest method of making this tea since it’s so much easier and taste great. I made a tea concencrate which you can easily pull out when you have guest or want a cup for yourself. In a Turkish coffee pot on the stove with a bit of milk is how I heat it up easily. I add a small amount of the chai in another small Arabic tea cup and use a hand frother and then I add that froth on top of all the cups. It looks great and wow it taste amazing.


  • meeso says:

    This is similar to the one I drink, It’s so so good :)

  • Lirun says:

    my grandfather (7th generation israeli) was from a yemeni background.. and we have our tea with hawaij – a spice.. also used in savoury dishes..

  • Noor says:

    Hi, Lirun, yum that sounds amazing. I will have to try it with hawij. Now I am going to have to post that spice mix up for everyone :)

    Meeso how do you drink yours? I love trying new recipes as you all know :)

  • embellished says:

    I just LOVE this ‘shaahai’ when I was in Yemen I used to drink it all the time and it’s just sooo refreshing I love it.

  • Tricia says:

    I didnt have milk, only condensed milk, so I put in 1/2 c. additional water and 1/4 c. of the condensed and it was good masha Allah. Also used 1/4 tsp ground cardamon in place of the 3 pods. So many recipes I want to try, it’s like this website is reading my mind! :o)

  • Nadia says:

    Love this tea. My husband is Yemeni so I have to have few Yemeni dishes. I always make this tea when I have guests and everyone loves you tea. Thanks so much my dear. This Chai rocks:) I always get requests for it. Keep me coming Hun.

  • Nadia says:

    Yikes it’s been a year already, can’t believe i didnt make this tea since then. Will be making it tomorrow night after iftar inshallah. I guess that’s what happens when you have a coffee drinking family i’m just too lazy to make tea for only myself….Need more tea lovers!

    • Noor says:

      I have the opposite problem my husband likes tea, but not coffee so much. I like both :)

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