Spicy Masala Chai in Oat Milk Made with a Mortar & Pestle

11.21.18 - BY Nona Raybern

Nothing invokes the feeling of warmth like masala chai. Steeped tea along with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, and star anise with just the right amount of milk makes for the perfect beverage.

Masala Chai is known in the US as “Chai tea”. “Chai” actually means tea in Hindi. In the US, when we say “Chai tea”, that translates in Hindi to “tea tea”. The mixture of spices used to flavor the tea is “Masala”.

While most masala chai is made using milk, our recipe substitutes a plant-based milk to keep it vegan. You can use any type of milk you choose for this recipe. We chose oat milk, as research shows it’s the most ecologically friendly version of plant-based milk currently on the market (possibly tied with Hemp milk!).

The great part about making your own masala chai lies in the customization. If you prefer your chai extra spicy, you can increase any of the spices within the masala mixture. Like it a bit more on the licorice side? Add more star anise or fennel seed. Want it sweeter? Simply add more sugar.

We decided to throw it back old school style by using a mortar & pestle, to really get that authentic flavor.

Grinding Your Masala Spice

RSVP carries a wide selection of mortar & pestles, depending on what you’re looking to make. We used the White Marble Mortar & Pestle as it’s the most versatile in our line of mortar & pestles in its uses; when crushing spices, though, the Marble Spice Grinder is also a viable option.

When grinding by hand, and especially with cinnamon, you can have some larger pieces, especially as the flavors meld together during the steeping process in the milk. You still want to grind it as finely as possible, because the more incorporated the flavors, the better it tastes.

One of our favorite products to use when making masala chai is the Endurance® 3-Cup Measuring Pan. The pan goes from measurement tool straight to the stove top for cooking, so you don’t have to dirty too many dishes in the process. Incredibly convenient and versatile, especially for small batches of drinks or sauces. Once your chai steeps, pour it over a strainer into a mug and enjoy!

Also, enjoy how amazing your house smells after. Sit on the couch, kick back, and enjoy your Masala Chai.


Spicy Masala Chai made with Oat Milk





Servings 1


  • 1
    Peppercorns, white or black
  • 1
    Fennel seeds
  • 2
    Star anise
  • 1
    Cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
  • 8
    Cardamom pods, seeded
  • 6
  • 1
    Dried ginger
  • 1
    Assam black tea
  • 1/2
    Oat milk
  • 1/2
  • 2
    Raw sugar


  1. Combine peppercorns, fennel seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, and cloves into mortar & pestle or spice grinder. Grind until fine (some larger pieces are okay). 

  2. Combine spices, ginger, tea, oat milk, and water into a saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring gently. When small bubbles appear around the perimeter, remove from heat and stir well. Place back onto heat and bring to a boil, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Pour the chai through a strainer into a cup. Garnish with your choice of spices. Serve hot.