Chai Recipe

In the late summer of 2000 I moved to Taos, New Mexico to build Earthships for a couple of months.

When I got there I found an awesome little apartment in a converted barn on the north end of town. I didn’t know anyone in NM going into it, and once there all the people I met lived in the Earthship community about 20 minutes away. So on the weekends I would wander around town and often ended up hanging out at the ashram there. The Neem Karoli Baba Ashram.

I didn’t know much about ashrams or Hinduism, but the people were friendly and interesting, and the food was delicious. I knew so little that I was really surprised when the place went nuts one day when a guy in a wheelchair rolled in. Turns out it was Ram Daas.

There was always an enormous kettle of chai on the stove filling the air with with most delicious spicy smell. I can’t remember who gave me the recipe, but I wrote it down on half an index card and then lost it for nearly 10 years. A few months ago I took an old suitcase to Salvation Army and luckily checked the front pocket before dropping it off. I was elated to find my stained and now yellowed recipe.

While I would rather lose a finger than give up my iPhone it’s kind of sad that I’m not creating notes like this to lose and then joyously find anymore.

If you like chai, or are chai curious, make this recipe. It’s awesome.

Neem Karoli Baba Ashram Chai


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole ginger
  • 10 ounces milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon loose black tea


Put in pan, heat to boil. Let simmer 20 minutes.