International Tea Day

Tea means Indian Masala Chai

Tea at a dhaba in Kumaon mountains

There is an eruption of memories of countless moments of sipping of chai – the golden beverage which has the power of starting conversations, sharing joy, uniting friends and families and may be we can stretch this to uniting the diverse land that is India. The passion with which people cutting across all strata embrace this drink is unparalleled. Let us celebrate international tea day with some nice hot masala chai.

Drink Tea anywhere

Chai at a dhaba in Jaipur

Personally I have always enjoyed drinking tea. There must have been countless shops, dhabas, thelas, cinema halls, college canteens, railway stations, restaurants, clubs, hotels, journeys and of course homes of friends and relatives where I would have enjoyed the sacred act of drinking tea. Some of these moments have been memorable – moments of laughter, intense debates as well as meaningless bakwaas or just plain simple catching up. It is next to impossible to say No to an invitation for chai.

Indian Masala Chai

While tea drinking is a wonderful way to celebrate friendship and enjoy the company of those whom you like, sipping your favourite chai alone is an experience which is nothing less than a session of mediation. If you have made the tea yourself, then you have gone through the entire experience and enjoy drinking tea even more.  I somehow have never preferred adding ready mix masala while making chai. I have always preferred adding cardamom or cinnamon while the chai is brewing.

Masala chai being prepared at a dhaba in Jaipur

Something to munch with chai

While drinking tea is a wonderful experience by itself, chai goes well with certain snacks. I have been very selective with what I have with chai. It has to be a samosa or homemade chivda  or cream cracker biscuits. I cannot think of anything else with chai.  Here I am talking about the afternoon or evening tea. It has been several years since I have stopped drinking tea in the mornings. It would be coffee in the mornings and may be till after lunch. Cookies go well with coffee but not at all with tea.

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At the Dhaba



At the dhaba

While traveling in Palghar district in Maharashtra, came across this dhaba. We stopped here for food. They recommended that we should try their bhurji and misal, which we did. Both were well made, except that the misal was a little hot. The tea they served was really well made.

Serving counter

kitchen at the dhaba


What attracted my attention was the serving counter connecting the kitchen with the dhaba. The wall colour which was somewhere between beige and orange was getting black patches due to the constant exposure to the heat. The kitchen window ensured adequate light. This light made sure that during daytime, the serving counter was also well illuminated.

While leaving, the lady who was the owner, suggested that we try out their “gavran chicken” next time. They would need a couple of hours of advance intimation is what she added.

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