I arrived home from India last week with a bag full of organic spices on a mission to recreate an authentic Chai Masala! Unlike the chai that we buy here in a tetra pack or a simple tea bag, it is made in India from freshly ground spices that are added to a mixture of milk, water, and black tea. All of the spices are readily found in your local market. I experimented with a few non-dairy milks and I found that I got the cleanest flavour from using a freshly squeezed coconut milk, however you can use whatever milk that you like.
The Spice Mixture:
- one Tbsp. of ground dried ginger
- 4 Tbsp. of freshly shelled cardamom seeds *
- 2 tsp. freshly ground whole nutmeg
- 2 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks (4 in.)
- 1 Tbsp. whole star anise
- 1 Tbsp. whole fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. of vanilla powder
*to shell the cardamom, blast it in your blender on high for 15 seconds or so. This will be enough to break the outer shell from the seeds inside. Place into a bowl and remove the outer green papery husks!
Combine all of the spices in a high speed blender until powdered. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Raw Coconut Milk:
- 1 cup of raw organic, unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 cups of water
Blend the coconut and the water on high in your blender for about 45 seconds. Line a medium sized bowl with your nut milk bag. Pour the blended mixture into the nut milk bag over the bowl and then gather up the ends in your hands and gently squeeze the milk into the bowl. Discard the pulp. (see Nut Nog recipe for nut milk instructions if necessary) Store fresh coconut milk in the fridge.
In a medium sized saucepan combine:
- 2 cups of prepared coconut milk
- 2 cups of water
- 1 Tbsp. of organic black tea
- 2 tsp. of ground spice mixture
- 1 tsp. of freshly grated ginger (opt.)
- 3 Tbsp. of raw organic cane sugar (or more to taste)
Bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes. Adjust the flavours by adding more spice or sugar if desired. Keep in mind that the sugar really brings out the flavours of the spices. An under sweetened chai can be a little disappointing! Remove from the stove. Pour the tea through a strainer to remove the tea and spice solids before pouring into your teapot to serve!