Ek Cup Chai – A cup of Tea
Once seduced by chai- the hot, sweet, calming concoction there’s no going back.
I think a cup of Chai can heal wounds ( emotional , mental and physical ) , most certainly break down cultural barriers and bring people together.
Chai- Tea stalls are a common sight throughout India, peppered along highways, roads, villages , markets , train stations, you will find people drinking tea in small glasses , plastic cups, chipped and worn out mugs and best of all from the saucer – poured from the cup, where each sip will be accompanied by loud slurping noises.
There is something quite fascinating and extraordinary about that experience !
A chai experience is special and every Indian household makes chai ever so slightly different. Besides the black tea, milk,sugar which are usually the common ingredients families add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, fennel seeds, nutmeg, pepper,cardamom.
Ahhhhhh chai 🙂 – A cup in the morning awakens the mind,body and soul, heightening the senses.
The Indian hospitality and warmth are known the world over and I think Chai is a big part of it.
Shyaam Kee Chai – Evening Chai is a tradition in India.
The busy-ness of an Indian household come to a standstill and family members emerge from their corners for this refreshing evening ritual. There’s nothing that cannot be dealt with over a cup of tea.
Friends, extended family, neighbours are invited to join in for the evening chai.
Chatter, discussion,ideas,companionable silence, the newspaper and even cosying up with your favourite novel form part of this ritual.
It can be served simply in cups,mugs,small glasses ( cutting chai- served mostly at small tea stalls), fancy tea pots and gold rimmed cups.
Chai contains beneficial anti-oxidants meant to reduce PMS, bloating , colds, reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, boost metabolism and energy levels, but above all the sense of well being it evokes is soul soothing.
The folklore surrounding Chai dates back to between 5000 and 9000 years ago to an ancient royal court – either India or Siam.
Chai was created by the reining king as a healing Ayurvedic beverage. Throughout the earlier years Chai was prepared via a diverse range of methods and contained an equally diverse array of spices.
Between regions the recipes varied and it was served hot and cold as a remedy for minor ailments.
But for me the strongest memory of Indian Chai is the call of Chai Wallahs, “ garam chai, chai lelo ( hot tea, come, drink tea) as they weave their way along bustling trains and crowded train stations.
Coming Up – Types of Chai
Meanwhile – If you have a special memory of drinking chai or even how you like to drink it – would love to hear from you.
Some images of how people like to drink their cup of tea.
Sunday morning tea with home made banana cake.