How to make authentic Masala Chai, like they do in India, using whole spices. Vegan and Sugar-Free adaptable.
- 5–7 green cardamom pods
- 3–4 whole cloves
- 1–2 star anise (optional )
- 5–7 peppercorns (optional)
- 1 cup of water
- 2–3 slices ginger (or more! skins ok)
- ½ cinnamon stick– split lengthwise ( use your fingers to separate)
- 1–2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea, (or 1–2 tea bags) Or sub decaf black tea
- 1 cup milk of your choice- organic whole milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cashew milk, hemp milk ( I like unsweetened, vanilla-flavored almond or oat milk) See notes for “ratio”.
- 2–3 teaspoons (or more or less) maple syrup, honey, sugar or alternative. (Sugar is traditional, but I prefer maple. )
- Lightly crush cardamom pods, whole cloves, star anise and peppercorns, and place in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Add ginger, cinnamon and black tea. I like to muddle the ginger a bit right in the pot.
- Bring to a boil. Turn off heat (don’t boil the tea, it will get bitter) and let it steep at least 10 minutes…. or for several hours. The longer, the more flavor!
- Add your choice of milk. Bring to a simmer once more, turn off the heat.
- Stir in your choice of sweetener, taste, adding more sweetener to taste. If it tastes bitter, you need more sweetener. Strain into a chai glass or mug.
- Feel the love. xoxo
TEA: Any dark, rich, robust black tea will work best here. Assam, Darjeeling, etc. You can also make the tea part as strong as you like. Start with one tablespoon loose leaf tea and add more according to your taste. Use loose-leaf or tea bags.
SPICES: Whole spices are preferred here but in a pinch feel free to add or sub ground spices to taste. You can add the ground spices at the end if you like.
MILK RATIO: Instead of the full cup of milk, I typically use a ratio of ½ water and ½ milk. Many prefer the richness of a full cup milk, so feel free to adjust to your taste.
BATCH MAKING: You can make a big batch of the masala chai (without the milk) and refrigerate for up to 4 days, and heat up with the milk and sweetener when ready to serve.
You can add more whole spices and more black tea for an even stronger more concentrated version.
UPDATE: While in Northern India this past month, I had this Chai with the addition of a big handful of fresh mint leaves (simmering in the chai). ABSOLUTELY Delicious! Give it a try!
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