Vegan Masala Chai is a quintessential tea in every Indian household for all seasons especially in cold breezy winters. The morning begins in India with fresh masala chai and savory breakfast. Whether you drink tea from the roadside tea staller(called chai walas) to fine restaurants each making their own versions. Tea is such a important time in Indian culture when families sit together and have conversations, when guest arrive they are given a cup of hot masala chai to welcome then or an excuse to sit back and relax. Spices like fresh ginger, cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, black pepper all come together with Indian tea leaves to provide tremendous depth of flavor.
The vegan nut pod is the star of the tea, especially since it provides for a great tasting creamer. Back in India, my mom used to add fresh tulsi leaves(holy basil leaves) to this tea for their healing qualities. One taste of this tea and I am transported back to cool winter mornings in India surrounded by family! I hope this recipe will help you embark upon your own journey!
3 cups water
2 cardamom pods
2 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 inch fresh ginger
2 teaspoon loose indian tea leaves (Wagh Bakri brand)
1/4 cup vegan nut pod creamer original
Indian jaggery/brown sugar to taste
Place 2 cups of water in a pot on medium heat.
Crush the cardmom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds and ginger in a motor pestle.
Add the crushed masala to the water and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to low heat and add the Indian tea leaves. Add the vegan creamer and give it a quick boil. Switch off the stove.
Cover the pot for few minutes to steep the flavors of spices. A very important step before pouring the tea in cups and adding the sweetner of your choice. We love jaggery(gud) in this tea!
Having experimented with various different brands of creamersand vegan milks, I am a huge fan of the nut pod creamer. Likewise, for Indian tea leaves, I feel the Wagh Bakri tea brand just tastes perfect (available at your local Indian grocer). Give these products a shot and you will taste the difference!