After years of tasting all kinds of Chai and being amazed of how sugary this drink is usually served, I developed my own recipe. Not too sweet or spicy; vegan, detoxing, and made from scratch. Do not use Chai mixes! Using whole spices ensures availability of the healing benefits they can provide to your body. When a spice is ground and stored for too long, the delicate element of ‘Prana’ fades away and with time it will lose its vibrant color, sharp fresh smell, and healing properties.
When a recipe calls for Cinnamon, I suggest you use Ceylon cinnamon which is better for your liver due to its low content of Coumarin ( A substance that can cause liver damage). Ceylon Cinnamon sticks are soft, crumbly and rolled like a cigar with layers of soft brittle Cinnamon bark. All other Cinnamon looks like the Cassia Cinnamon sticks and tend to be hard, hollow and have only one rolled or curled layer.
Cinnamon has many beneficial properties such as, glucose metabolism, antimicrobial and anti-parasitic activity, aids in digestive health, and reduces blood pressure.
Another essential ingredient for making chai creamy and appetizing is Milk. After turning fully vegan I tried different nut-milks, and noticed that most of them curdle when heated. I have found they are not creamy enough, except for fresh cashew milk or store bought Pea milk. My favorite pea milk I've found is the Ripple brand.
Black tea is also an essential part of the chai experience, however, caffeinated tea is aggravating to all doshas. I recently catered a spiritual discovery retreat in the Malibu mountains and used Chamomile tea to avoid the caffeine content and everyone absolutely loved it!
- 4 cups of filtered or spring water
- 1 Ceylon Cinnamon stick (2 inch long)
- 7 Cardamom pods, crushed or 2 tsp ground Cardamom
- 5 Cloves, or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 Tbs Fennel seeds
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg, freshly ground
- 2 Tbs Organic Ginger root, minced
- 1 tsp Sweet leaf sweetener or maple syrup
- 2 Bags of tea of your choice (black, red, rooibos, chamomile)
- 1 Cup Pea Milk or Cashew milk*
- Bring the water to a boil and add all the spices. Allow the chai mix to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the tea bags and let simmer for 2 more minutes
- Add the Nut milk and turn off
- Strain the chai trough a colander and serve hot
*To make Cashew Milk:
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight or for 30 min in boiling water
- 3/4 cup water
- Drain the cashews
- Blend the cashews with the water until creamy.