Friday, May 14, 2010

Iced Masala Chai

Who doesn't love a good chai tea on a chilly day? I was hoping to share my chai recipe with you sometime during the cooler weather, but it never happened, and here we are well into spring.

This recipe starts out hot and then is cooled in the fridge, so you can skip to cooling part of the recipe for hot chai. My recipe is adapted from this one at Cheap Healthy Good. 

As for the type of tea, Veggie Might of CHG uses keemun, but I haven't been able to find it, so I use assam, which is the main tea used in the English Breakfast blend. I have also used Lapsang Souchong, which is smoked black tea, and Mango Black tea from Trader Joes. Whatever tea you use, make sure it's a strong one, otherwise the spices completely overpower it. You can prep this chai black and then add soymilk when you serve if your pitcher is too small (which mine was).

To crush the spices, put the cinnamon sticks in a towel and then hammer them into chunks, and the smaller spices you can grind how you please. I don't recommend already ground spices--the flavor isn't as strong or fresh.

Iced Masala Chai
(makes about 14 cups)


12 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 tsp cloves, crushed
2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
4 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 T allspice berries, crushed
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
12 cups water
5 1/3 cups soymilk or 4 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup agave
3/4 cup black tea

1. Add all spices to water in a large saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the soymilk or creamer and agave and bring back to a boil, stirring occasionally.

3. Turn off the heat, add the tea leaves, cover, and steep for ONLY 2-3 minutes. Prepare a fine mesh strainer over another pot.

4. Strain the chai into the other pot and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a pitcher and put in the refrigerator to chill.

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