This keto masala chai is pretty darn tasty and hits the spot since it's creamy, a little sweet, well-spiced, and so comforting to enjoy during some down time.
Masala chia is one of our favorite comfort drinks of all time. For us, it brings back fond memories of traveling throughout India, where we drank it quite frequently. Here in the United States, it's hard to find a masala chai as good as the ones we got in India -- let alone one that is keto and low-carb friendly! That's why we simply prefer to make our own keto masala chai at home.
And, this masala chai so easy to make! It's simply a matter of boiling water with sliced ginger, gently crushed cardamom pods, and half of a cinnamon stick. After it comes to a boil, you'll turn off the heat, add the tea bags, heavy cream and sweetener, and let steep for about 5 minutes. At that point, you'll give it a taste and adjust the level of cream and sweetener to your liking (we usually add a tiny bit more of both!). Then, you'll pour into two cups through a tea or fine-mesh strainer. And that's it -- it's all done in about 10 or so minutes!
Each serving of masala chai is just 1 net carb.
What is Masala Chai?
Masala chai is an Indian spiced tea typically made with black tea, water, milk, spices, and sweetener. In India, masala stands for spice and chai stands for tea.
Typical spices include green cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorn, and other spices (such as nutmeg or star anise). However, there are many variations of masala chai, and people typically adjust the milk, spices and sweetener to their own taste preferences. Many people in India drink chai masala on a daily basis and may enjoy it with some sort of biscuit or cookie.
This keto version of masala chai uses just 7 ingredients:
- Black tea - we use black tea bags, which you can get in decaf if you like.
- Water - for the tea, we typically use 1 cup of water for every serving (if using heavy cream).
- Heavy cream - we use 3 tablespoons of heavy cream for 2 servings and sometimes we'll use just a tiny bit more since we love the creaminess. You can use almond milk as well - it just won't be as creamy. Also, for the almond milk, the proportions will be different -- you'll use one cup of almond milk with one cup of water (for two servings),
- Ginger - for two servings, you'll use just an inch of fresh ginger that is roughly sliced into ¼ inch pieces.
- Green cardamom pods - you'll want to gently smash 6 of these (with skin in tact) before putting in the tea. If you can't get a hold of these, then you can replace with ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom.
- Cinnamon stick - we use half of a 3-inch cinnamon stick -- which you can simply break in half.
- Sugar-free sweetener - we use 3 teaspoons of Swerve Sweetener (granular), but you can use an alternative sweeter if you prefer. The tea should be sweetened to your preference.
Most of the ingredients you probably have at home, except for the green cardamom pods. But, if you ask us, they're worth it for this drink!
How to make it
To start, you'll prepare the spices. You'll slice an inch of fresh ginger in ¼ -inch pieces. Then, you'll gently crush the green cardamom pods while keeping the skin intact. After, you'll break a 3-inch cinnamon stick in half.
Next, in a small pot, add 2 cups of water along with the sliced ginger, crushed cardamom pods, and half of a cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Then, turn off heat and add the tea bags, cream and sugar. Stir and let steep for 5 minutes (or more for increased flavor). Before serving, taste to adjust the level of cream and sweetener to your liking. Last, you'll use a tea or fine-mesh strainer to strain the tea into two cups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a dairy-free milk to replace the heavy cream? Yes, you can use a nut milk, such as almond milk, instead of heavy cream. For two servings, you'll use one cup of water with one cup of nut milk. All the other ingredient amounts will remain the same and the instructions for making will remain the same (except you'll use 1 cup of water (instead of 2) and you'll replace the cream with 1 cup of nut milk).
Can I use a different sweetener? Yes, you can use whatever sweetener you prefer. We recommend sweetening to your desired taste -- so start with a little and add more until you get the right amount.
Can I store leftovers in the fridge? Yes, you can store in a covered container in the fridge for a few days and can reheat in the microwave.
Other Low-Carb & Keto Indian Recipes
Here are some other low-carb and keto Indian recipes you may enjoy.
- Strawberry Lassi: This creamy, fruity, low-carb and keto strawberry lassi is a simple and quick treat to make. A lassi is a traditional, yogurt-based drink from India that is deliciously refreshing and healthy. Since yogurt is the main ingredient, it’s high in protein and calcium, and packed with probiotics (healthy bacteria that can improve immune system and gut health).
- Easy Keto Chicken Tikka Masala: This shortcut keto chicken tikka masala recipe may not be entirely authentic, but it tastes pretty darn similar to the real thing . It’s rich, creamy and spicy and made with just 8 ingredients.
- Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks: These low-carb and keto tandoori chicken drumsticks are deliciously spicy, tender and juicy with perfectly crisp skin! They’re so delicious!
- 1-inch fresh ginger, sliced in ¼-inch pieces
- 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed with skin still intact (or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom)
- Half of a 3-inch cinnamon stick (simply snap stick in half)
- 2 cups water
- 2 black tea bags
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or more or less to taste)
- 3 teaspoons Swerve Sweetener, granular (or more or less to taste)
- Prepare the spices: Slice an inch of fresh ginger in ¼-inch pieces. Gently crush green cardamom pods while keeping the skin intact. After, you'll break a 3-inch cinnamon stick in half.
- Make the tea: In a small pot, add 2 cups of water along with the sliced ginger, crushed cardamom pods, and half cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the tea bags, cream and sugar. Stir and let steep for 5 minutes (or more for increased flavor). Taste to adjust the level of cream and sweetener to your liking.
- Serve: Use a tea or fine-mesh strainer to strain the tea into two cups. Serve immediately.
You can store the masala chai in a covered container in the fridge for a few days and can reheat in the microwave.
Amount Per Serving Calories 81Total Fat 9.0gSaturated Fat 5.3gCholesterol 31.5mgSodium 9.1mgCarbohydrates 7.6gNet Carbohydrates 1.3gFiber 0.3gSugar 0gSugar Alcohols 6.0gProtein 0.5g