How many of you love Chai?
I’m far from the 10-cups-of-Chai-a-day person. But I savor the moment whenever I have it. One needs peace for chai indulgence while reading something on the side. Knowing me, it is almost always a cookbook or food magazine.
The secret ingredient in my Chai
A pinch of Earl Grey Twinings is my secret ingredient. I use the regular tea for it’s strong karak flavor along with just a tiny bit of Earl Grey for its aroma. So for every litre of Chai (or 4 mugs) there’s 3 teaspoons of normal Chai and ½ teaspoon of Earl Grey Twinings. Give it a try and you will love it.
The best way to make Chai is ………….
The thermos technique! It’s the right balance of convenience, minimal dishes to wash and taste. There’s no jhanjhat of washing the chai ka saucepan and it’s proper dum wali chai not the paper tasting chai made from a teabag.
One first needs to boil water. Then place tea leaves/patti in thermos and once the water boils add it to the thermos. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes and then pour into mugs. It stays fresh for 30 – 45 minutes so whoever wakes up earliest can make a thermos and the rest of the family can have it as and when they get up. My family loves thermoses so much that we have a one cup thermos to the proper big thermos that can yield 15 – 20 cups of chai.
Mug or Chai ki Piyali?
Just as the Chai is special so is the vessel you drink it from. I am a chai mug type of person – I’m just unable drink chai from a piyali. As pretty as it looks, the chances of a spill are too high. My husband on the other hand spurns mugs. My personal favorite is a blue pottery mug that I got from Multan. My husband’s favorite is a Japanese style teacup (sort of a hybrid) that we got from Clayworks.
Chai is personal and that is why it will always be the best at home! One can choose a brand of tea, milk, the type of mug or teacup to drink in and even the snacks one has them with. But its impossible do that as a guest.
And if it gets cold, just drink up! First someone makes chai for you, brings it in a trolley, asks for the amount of milk & sugar you prefer and then serves it to you. Of course, it’s going to get cold.
So NEVER and I repeat NEVER criticize the Chai at someone else’s place.