Chai is an Indian black tea beverage that is boiled with milk and usually sugar as well. Masala chai (masala means spice or spice blend) is when warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, etc. are added to the chai to create a more flavorful beverage.
A lot of Indian households will drink chai with their breakfast, including mine. I grew up watching my mum eat oats with her chai most mornings and wanted to make a recipe that captured her breakfast routine and the wonderful smell it would fill the kitchen with. The recipe is also gluten-free and has no refined sugar, which I know my mother would very much appreciate. My favorite way to eat these is with a cup of masala chai; it’s just the perfect spice-filled way to start your mornings!
I adapted this recipe from @justine_snacks‘s London Fog Muffins recipe (linked here) and replaced the tea in that recipe with a masala chai concentrate! If you don’t want to make masala chai, you can use other chai recipes as well for these muffins and it would taste just as lovely (ginger, mint, tulsi, etc.) or just use plain chai!
I would strongly recommend buying chai from an Indian store to make this recipe, as American variants of chai are usually weaker in flavor and contain added spice blends. I use the Wagh Bakri brand to make these, however any plain chai brand from your local Indian store would work fine for this.
Masala Chai Oat Muffins
- Muffin Tray
- Muffin Liners (I use 3-inch size)
Masala Chai Concentrate (should be ½ cup total liquid after it's boiled)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup oat milk
- 6 tsp chai (black tea) I use the Wagh Bakri brand, but you can use any other brand of Indian black tea.
- 16 green cardamom
- 9 cloves
- 5 black pepper
- 2 inches cinnamon sticks
- ¼ whole anise star
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 2 pinches nutmeg powder
- 150 g oat flour (you can make this by blending 1 ½ cups of oats)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 375° F.
Making the Masala Chai concentrate
- Roughly grind all of the whole spices in a mortar pestle or a spice grinder.
- Start boiling ½ cup of water in a pot. Add in the chai and all of the ground spices.
- After the chai brews for 2-3 minutes, add in ½ cup of oat milk and continue to brew it until roughly ½ cup of liquid is left. The chai will be a very dark hot chocolate-like color.
- Strain the chai into a cup and set it aside to cool.
Making the batter
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl: the oat flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: the cooled down chai, the egg, the oil, and the maple syrup.
- Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the batter is fully incorporated. It's okay if lumps remain in the batter!
- Line the muffin tray with liners and pour the batter until the liners are about ¾ of the way full. I generally make 9 muffins with this recipe, though you can increase the amount of batter in each muffin and make 8 slightly larger muffins.
- Bake the muffins at 375° for 13-15 minutes. Check if the muffins are done by poking them with a toothpick and ensuring it comes out dry.
- Set the muffins aside to cool for an hour or so and then enjoy!
- You can dust them with some extra chai masala powder or powdered sugar, or just leave them plain!
- If you don’t want to make the spice blend, you can buy chai masala powder from your local Indian store and use 6 tsp of that instead in the concentrate.
- If you want to make them completely vegan you can omit the egg and they will still turn out fine!
- You can also replace the oil with 118g of butter for a slightly creamier muffin.
Enjoy and please comment below with any thoughts or questions!
I would love to see your creations! If you try the recipe, please feel free to share it with me on my Instagram @jankipatel_ !