Standards I follow:-
1) 2 cups thin milk = 1 1/4 cup water + 3/4 cups thick milk
2) If I dont have all masala ingredients, I use 1/4 - 1/2 garam masala powder (But taste is very much compromised..).
3) Before serving I take out masala sticks out, if I end up using whole spices.
4) Some times, I put star anise before serving as garnish and serving purposes.