Vegan Indian Masala Chai. Fabulous almond milk tea with fresh ginger and homemade chai spice blend with cardamom, cinnamon, pepper. Flavorful traditional Indian Chai tea made vegan. Jump to Recipe
Masala Chai was the last of the non-vegan foods to be eliminated from our diet. Hubbs and me both grew up guzzling cups of chai every morning with breakfast. It would be mostly milk and lightly flavored with tea till we hit the teens, then it was small cups every now then with friends, every time we visited anyone, at evening hang outs, in the wee hours of the morning during exams, and on and on. Dad still has a cup every 2-3 hours at work. No wonder we were so stuck to it, or more stuck to the dairy in it. The thick creamy concoction made with dairy milk, boiled for minutes and minutes, had not only the addiction from milk and tea but also several memories associated with it.
I have an older post with a creamer that was the recipe we settled on in the initial transition year. And now after trying several other plant milk options, this is our current vegan chai. The recipe works well with other almond milks and soy milk too. The additives in some of the packaged plant milks though change the texture and consistency of the chai enough that it can go from great to unpalatable if not used correctly(over heated or not heated enough, or curdles at high heat). Some of the preference is also related to the fact that the Chai has to uphold to our strong taste and texture memories. For someone who is flexible with the taste, the recipe will work with a lot of other plant milks as well. We’ve also loved oatmilk and soymilk versions(some brands)
Why the hassle to find the home made or packaged plant milks that works best? Same reason we all look to find cheese alternatives or other things from our pre-gan days. With the preference for steeped in water teas growing in this house, soon we might not be drinking the morning chai at all. It is a great option to have for anyone visiting though. Mom and dad drink Chai 3 to 6 times in the day. Mom loves the easy access to almond breeze when she visits.
There is also the option to use cashew milk, packaged or home made. The thing with cashew milk is that the heat thickens up the cashew milk really quickly and the thick texture might feel too different or new.
For any milk you use, give it some time. Try it a couple of times instead of just once. It takes time to get used to the change.Keep trying different plant milks for the ones that work best for you.
Chai in Hindi literally means tea, so Chai tea is basically tea tea 🙂 This often happens with non Indian (other non english) terms too. Its a translation that is helpful hence Chai tea is much bigger search term than just Chai.
More Indian Beverages
Thandai – Creamy Spiced Poppy Seed Almond milk Spring drink.
Aam Panna – Spiced Raw mango cooler
Mango Lassi – Sweet mango yogurt Smoothie
Get all the ingredients for the chai ready. Clockwise from the top. Raw sugar, grated fresh ginger, Chai patti(dry loose tea), chai masala blend.
Boil the tea, chai masala, ginger and sugar in water. Bring to a rapid bubbling boil.
Pour the plant milk slowly.
Bring to just about a boil, then strain and serve.
This creamy Chai Latte.
You can also use an infuser. Add the tea and spices to the infuser and keep that in the boiling water. Add the milk, bring to just about a boil. Pour tea in a cup. Remove or keep the infuser in the cup and serve.
How to make a good Vegan Chai Tea
- Try different plant plant milk and try them atleast 3 times.
- Plant milks can tend to separate when added to boiling water. I usually do a slow pour so that the initial few seconds will cool the mixture. You can also add a tbsp of water before adding milk.
- You might need less or more loose tea depending on the brand and preference of flavor strength, and less or more non dairy milk.
- This is not the starbucks chai latte. Its stronger, thinner everyday Indian chai. More cardamom, less cinnamon and made with loose tea.
Vegan Indian Chai Tea. Masala Chai. Gluten-free Recipe
- 3/4 cup (187.5 ml) water
- 1.5 Tbsp raw sugar or other sweetener to taste
- 2 tsp chai patti/loose tea
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chai spice/chai masala blend (see notes for large batch), or use 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, a good pinch of ground clove,, black pepper, ground ginger
- 1/2 to 1 tsp minced/grated fresh ginger ,some fresh gingers are too strong, so use to taste
- 1.25 cup (312.5 ml) Almond breeze plain almond milk or oatmilk or soymilk other non dairy milk.
- In a small deep pan at medium heat, add water, sugar, tea leaves, chai masala blend and ginger. Bring to a bubbling boil. 7 to 9 mins
- Slowly pour the almond milk. Bring the mix to just about a boil. 6 to 8 minutes.
- Strain into a cup and serve hot. Compost the tea leaves.
- Note: some plant milks tend to separate when added to the hot water. Add a Tbsp cold/room temperature water to the boiling water to bring the temperature down. Then pour in the plant milk.
Grind 3/4 cup green cardamom pods, 1/4 cup cinnamon sticks or 2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder, 1/4 cup cloves, 2 Tablespoons whole black pepper, 2 to 3 Tablespoons ground ginger. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds(optional). Store in airtight container.
Change the quantities around to preference. Add more ginger for a winter chai masala. Add a tsp of nutmeg and all spice for variations. Use the spice blend in ice creams, doughnuts, caramel, bread, granola and more. Nutritional values based on one serving