Friday, 11 December 2015


in INDIA, 
chai is more than just a cup of tea to start the day.

it forms a vital part of the very essence of our lives...
as accompaniment to breakfast to gossip sessions and business meetings.

chai wallah in the OLD CITY 
of jaipur.

his basic equipment. 

these old carriers ,are becoming obsolete ,used to carry the glass cup.
now, more and more chai wallahs are opting for the paper disposable cups. 
these cups are hot to hold.

i have bought 2 of these holders at the FLEA MARKET, 
here in jaipur. 
i use them for table decorations, to display small flowers. 

the chai wallah portable water dispenser,
and washing up trough.

2 chai's have been enjoyed.

another chai wallah,

in action.

one of the many things that bind indians together is tea,
 popularly known as CHAI. 

rail travel in india is often associated with the peculiar CHAI CHAI of the chai wallahs carrying l
kettles alongside the train and platforms. 
office colleagues and college students are often seen bonding over this beverage. 
lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians discussing the country's affairs over a cup of tea are a common feature of many restaurants. 


while tea drinking in india dates back to 750 bc, the origins of tea consumption go back to CHINA more than 4,000 years ago.
given the varied regions on india, there are multiple varieties of tea. 
a  popular variety in the northern part of india, especially RAJASTHAN is the 
which has spices added to the tea during the preparation.
commonly used spices are, 

is a traditional green tea preparation consumed in the KASHMIR VALLEY.
this famous beverage is made from boiling green tea leaves with saffron strands, cinnamon bark & cardamom pods.
in order to get the enticing aroma, kashmiri roses are also added sometimes to this concoction.
the KAHWAH is generally served with sugar or honey and crushed walnuts or almonds.

in KOLKATA and other areas of the NORTH EAST, darjeeling tea is preferred over other types of tea. 
what's interesting about this tea, whether it is black, white, oolong or green, i
it is usually consumed without adding milk and sugar.
this is because it is believed that adding milk or sugar does not allow the  full appreciation of the rich and aromatic taste of the darjeeling tea. 
lemon, however can be added later. 

the method of making this exotic tea is quite simple.
the flavour of the darjeling tea depends to a great extent on the type of tea. 
it is advisable to use water that is not hard, natural spring water or treated tap water being ideal choices. 
FIRSTLY, hot water is poured in a tea pot to warm it up for that the tea can be kept hot for longer period of time. 
then that water is drained out and tea leaves are placed in the pot. 
boiling water is then poured over the tea leaves and kept still for 3 - 5 minutes in order for the desired infusion to take place. 
it is then strained and served. 

one cannot describe the vibe of major cities with the mention of the famous 
meaning half cup of tea. 
if one wants to have a full cup, then they can opt for 
chai is served in small clay pots, commonly known as kulhar.

such is the love  for this beverage that the world's leading coffee chain
has also introduced in its menu a 
which is essentially a spiced black tea blended with steam milk. 

in INDIA, 
chai is clearly more than just a cup of tea to start the day.

it forms a vital part of the very essence of our lives.


cutting chai refers to a half portion or a small glass of tea. 
a strongly brewed tea boiled with milk and spiked with chai masala. 

in a saucepan, put 2 cups of water, add 2 green cardamom, a piece of crushed ginger (about1'' in length), sugar to taste. 
and bring it to a BOIL on HIGH heat. 
then add 2 teaspoons of tea leaves. 

then add 1/2 cup of whole milk. 
let it 
on medium heat for awhile till the desired strength is achieved. 

cover and set aside for a few minutes.

serve in a small glass. 

i encourage you all to try this method of COOKING chai. 
i enjoy my first daily cup, 
sitting in bed.
this is known as 

1 comment:

  1. We used to love receiving chai in the terracotta cups on the train, as they could be throuwn out the window and returned to earth - unlike their paper counterparts! And I have to say, the best bed chai is the one that is delivered to your bed! Thanks again, Deb - great memories!