One of the best news that i chanced upon was that Taste of India
was back up and somewhat running!!what a relief!
And parsing through it came upon this conversation on a blog
Now i am a big time fan of chai..well actually addicted..if i don't get my morning hot of ghar ki chai (homemade tea) brew my entire day is lost...a headache is imminent so is a sour mood.My husband makes sure that the side effects don't reflect on him by religiously making it every morning for me since we got married 3 years back..it was one of the contractual obligations (amongst others) that he signed up for when we got married. :)
Coming back to chai ...the only chai i knew in my childhood and loved to the core was the one made by my mother..no connoisures recipe but all the ingredients thrown together with 'Brooke Bond' tea in one 'Patila' (vessel) and boiled for a couple of minutes. Sometimes a piece of ginger was thrown in during the winters or when someone had an headache...
Occasionaly we would visit my mother's elder sister who lived in Shahdol...a small town in MP ( i am not sure if its in Chattisgarh now). The trains we travelled did not have pantries and at every station, usually they were all very small ones, kulhad chai (tea in small earthen pots) was amply available, long before our own Laloo decided to popularise them. It was very watery in consistence but its USP was the flavour of the earthen pot which would invariably permeate the hot tea when it was poured into it. It was flavored with cardomom a mainstay of any tea that you would care to have from any Indian railway stations.
When i started working I was invariably introduced to the dip chai..
dip dip dip...dip a little longer if you want it stronger..add the sugar and milk and its ready to drink.....
The worst of its kind ...so the penchant to look for a better option led us to small 'gumti' pushed to the corner near the office building.Here i tasted the clove flavoured tea..and
it has stayed with me till date. We would brave the hot afternoon sun even in the summers to have a cup of this tea.I try to replicate in my kitchen..and relish it every time...just add 2-3 cloves when the tea is boiling.
An interesting thing happened.When ever we go for long drives we carry this tea with us in thermos to have during the journey. One day we forgot to add the cloves while boiling...so we added it directly into the thermos and shut it up....the result was amazing when we had the tea after an hr or so..the flavour was so well assimilated and strong..it gave the simple tea a different definition altogether...a must try.