Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vegan MoFo: Homemade Chai

Confession time.  I'm Amanda and I'm a chai-aholic.  I'm also pretty opinionated when it comes to ingredients in my chai.  I like a super peppery and sweet, not too clove-y chai.  And I definitely don't like wintergreen in my chai.

Now that we have that out of the way, would you like to see how I prepare chai at home?  I'm sure it's not traditional, but it's pretty great if the above chai guidelines work for you.

You'll need a smallish saucepan, a mortar and pestle (or something to grind/pummel spices), fine-meshed strainer, and something like a pitcher into which you'll transfer hot liquid.
Makes 7 3/4 cups tea!

20 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 tsp peppercorns (I usually use black, but today used tri-colored)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5 pieces crystalized ginger, ripped into pieces
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
8 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
4 tsp loose black tea (Assam works the best)
sugar to taste (I used 7+ teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1/2 cup soy creamer or soy milk

1.  Beat up the cardamom, peppercorns, and cumin.
Before/ After the spice beating.

2.  Bring water to a boil in the pan, then reduce to a summer.  Add the cardamom, peppercorns, cumin, ginger, and bay leaf.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
Before/ After 20-minute simmer sesh.

3. After 20 minutes, throw in the cloves, cinnamon, and tea.  Let brew for 2 minutes.

4.  Pour liquid through the strainer over a pitcher (make sure the pitcher can handle hot liquids!).  Discard the spices and tea.

5.  Pour the tea back into the pan and add the sugar and milk.  Heat through and serve!


  1. The idea of wintergreen in chai is appalling!

    I'm intrigued by your inclusion of cumin. Somehow I've never mixed my own chai blend, just bought pre-mixed tea and spices... This post makes me want to try though!

    1. I didn't start including cumin until I tried a chai at a local Loving Hut that contained cumin. I like the earthy, nuttiness it adds.

      And yeah, wintergreen in chai- blech!

  2. Wonderful!I was wondering how to not have a strong clove and cinnamon flavor.

    1. Yeah! There's a brand of premixed chai spices that I really like, too. They're local to Oregon, but it's worth looking up. To me, their mix is perfect!

  3. I can almost smell it from here! I wouldn't have thought to use crystallised ginger, but it's a great idea.

  4. Oh! I love the idea of candied ginger melted into chai!!! Will you please be my own personal chai walla??


  5. I don't like chai but I often wonder if that's because I've never had really good chai? So I should give your recipe a go :D

  6. I love making chai! There is something so lovely about making chai from scratch and serving it up on a cold autumn night! Lovely photos too!

  7. Wow, making your own chai - now why didn't I think of that? ;) Bookmarking asap! :)