Warming Up to Vegan Masala Chai

The first time an Indian friend prepared masala chai (tea) for me, it was one of the most heavenly things. I had his recipe affixed to my refrigerator for years, but somehow stopped making it after giving up dairy products. Making a vegan tea masala is so simple, it’s silly, but that was before I realized anything is possible without animal ingredients.

Hot chai tea masala is great  in the winter, due to the warming effect of fresh ginger. Iced chai tea masala makes a super satisfying drink in the summer, too.

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 TB black tea (I use Brooke Bond Red Label orange pekoe, but Assam is also good)

1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy) milk – unsweetened/unflavored

1 cup water

2 TB fresh ginger (grated)

1-2 cardamon pods (slightly crushed)

Tea masala spice mixture (powdered ginger, black pepper, bay leaf, green cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg), to taste

Method:

Place tea into a small sauce pan and add soy milk, water, ginger, and cardamon pods

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t let your eyes off the pot, because it boils over in an instant!

Reduce heat immediately, and simmer for another 5 minutes

Shake some tea masala spice into the bottom of a cup.

Pour the tea into cup through a strainer, stir, and enjoy!

If you’re used to drinking traditional tea masala (most Indian restaurants don’t offer a choice with soy milk), it may take some getting used to the taste of non-dairy tea masala, but enjoy knowing it has no cholesterol and is loaded with anti-oxidants. Use sugar sparingly (if necessary), in order to appreciate the taste of the masala spices.

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