CHAI tea is a staple across India and also in my kitchen.  I love its intoxicating aroma that fills the house while on the stove.  It is a perfect everyday drink for the colder months.  There are countless ways to make chai.  I have several varieties posted to my blog.

This recipe, I adapted from Victor Van Kooten’s chai recipe that stands out time and time again as a favorite.  I had the good fortune of studying yoga with Victor several summers in a row in a friend’s living room.

These intimate weekend workshops were steeped in inquiry and creative movement. We were taught techniques for harnessing energy and working with the inner body all while being inspired by Victor’s gifts of brilliant metaphor and delightful humor.  As we practiced yoga, the aroma of this incredible chai would fill the house.

If you do not know Victor, I’d highly recommend checking out the beautiful and comical books he has published.  Not only is he a master yoga teacher with decades of study in India, he is also a remarkable artist.


  • 2 Quarts water
  • 1 – 3″ fresh ginger root, sliced thin
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp of cardamom seed (decorticated)
  • 3 stars of star anise (broken apart)
  • 1 – 6″ cinnamon stick
  • 9 whole peppercorns
  • 2 tsp orange peel, dried


(all optional)

  • Darjeeling tea
  • Milk or almond milk
  • Sugar or jaggery


  1. For extra flavor, place all dry ingredients in a blender or mortar/pestle, grind coarse.
  2. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Add one 1 tsp Darjeeling Tea per cup (optional)
  4. Milk or almond milk, to taste – I recommend heating the milk so that it doesn’t curdle when added to the hot chai.
  5. Add sugar or jaggery to taste.
  6. Use ORGANIC ingredients whenever possible.


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