When I was in India I discovered that the unpasteurised, raw milk used there by Chai Wallers didn’t disagree with me half as much as the usual dairy milk we get over here. I couldn’t have a lot of it and after about 10 days I did start to feel a bit sick, so laid off for a while, but it did demonstrate that most of my dairy allergy is probably due to all the drugs the cows are given and the unnecessary crap which is done to milk and not the milk itself. This is one of the reasons I decided to remain vegan when I came back to Blighty.
But I do miss chai. It was such a lovely drink, in tiny rough ceramic pots passed through train windows and supped on street corners. The cries of “chaichaichaichai!” everywhere we went.
Today I decided to make Mr H (who has never had authentic chai) a cup of Indian chai tea using nut milk and brewed in the traditional way.
“Oh wow!” was the reaction. So here’s the recipe:
Authentic Indian Chai – the Raw Vegan Way!
Equipment: saucepan and hotplate, thermometer
500ml nut milk*
2 pinches of loose black tea (I used Darjeeling)
1/2 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder**
1 tsp agave or maple syrup for each person (to taste)
Pour the milk into a saucepan.
Add the tea and spices
Stirring continuously, bring the milk up to about 50 degrees C, then leave to stand fo 5-10 minutes
Warm the milk up again if you need to but don’t let it boil. It should feel comfortably hot if you place your finger in, but not so hot you need to snatch the finger out.
Pour into cups through a tea strainer and add a teaspoon of sweetness to each cup. Stir and enjoy.
* To make Nut Milk:
Soak 1 cup of nuts overnight.
Blend with 1 litre of water and strain through a nut milk bag.
You will have 1 litre of milk which you can use just like dairy milk, although it is much better for you!
** You can vary the spices to taste and alternatively use whole spices instead of ground.