June 13, 2012

Indian Chai Tea

If you have been reading my blog for several months now, you might remember this post where I talked about my decision to give up drinking caffeine (Blasphemy, to some of you, I know!).  This decision wasn't an easy one, to say the least.  Regardless, I had my reasons.  In particular, I had started to experience some of the side affects of my addiction, including:
  • when I didn't drink my latte first thing in the morning I would have an excruciating headache by 10:00AM;
  • around 2:00-3:00PM I would experience a rapid energy slump;
  • I was visiting the ladies' room much more than usual; and
  • perhaps most disturbing, I was dependent on my latte fix every day...sometimes more than once a day.

As of today, I haven't consciously had anything caffeinated in over a year (Wow...have I really made it that long?)!  Believe it or not, I feel better and more confident in my decision than ever.  There was a point in my life that I thought I simply couldn't live without my morning cup 'o Joe!  Well, I'm living proof that "when there's a will there's a way"!

With that said, I still enjoy something warm and comforting first thing in the morning.  When I'm craving something extra decadent, I might whip up one of my hot chocolate recipes (Cinnamon Double Hot Chocolate or Vanilla-Maple Hot Cocoa).  But that's a rare occasion.  On most morning I drink hot tea...or lately, homemade Indian Chai Tea!

Recently, while flipping through a magazine on the airplane to Emily and Henry's wedding, I stumbled upon Padma Lakshmi's recipe for chai.  Since I don't like the sugared-up Starbucks version of the beverage, but I DO love ginger and some of the other spices in this traditional Indian drink, I figured I would give her recipe a shot.  Besides, she's Indian-American, so I figured she must know what she's doing.  Four batches and a few tweaks later (to make the recipe vegan-friendly) BINGO!

Now I can't get enough of the stuff!  

It's in my mug almost every morning!

Indian Chai Tea
Serves 6-8

8 cups filtered water (or tap water)
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 Ty-phoo Decaf black tea bags
2 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2T brown sugar, lightly packed
3T honey

  • In a large saucepan, combine the water, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.
  • Bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Add the tea bags, milk, brown sugar, and honey.
  • Simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags from the saucepan.
  • Pour the mixture into a large pitcher.
  • Serve hot, or cold over ice.

For a normal person, this recipe would make enough chai for approximately eight servings.  However, I like BIG OL' MUGS of chai every morning.  So, for me, this chai is gone in about five days!

Money shot.

All this talk of chai makes me feel like heating up a mug now!
(Yes, I know it's 12:39 in the afternoon.  
Who cares?  
It's always the right time for chai!)

Question of the Day:

I'd love to hear from you!  What is your morning beverage of choice (i.e. coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, chai, latte, cappuccino, orange juice...the list could go on and on)?!

Ally and Bo


  1. I love chai in the morning. Lately I have been into iced chai and blended chai (basically iced chai in the blender, but with some vanilla!) So far, I have been getting my chai in the bulk spice section, but I am definitely going to try this recipe! Ah looks so good.

    1. What chai do you buy to make your iced chai?! Is there a special brand you use? Maybe I just haven't looked, but is there a spice blend in the bulk section that you grab?!

      P.S. I actually thought of you when I made this recipe...I just know that you would love it! ;)