Ever go into Starbucks and order a "chai tea," or "chai tea latte?" Since chai means tea in Hindi, you are actually ordering "tea tea"... a knock-off of India's heavenly, rich, spiced milky tea, or masala chai, which quickly becomes a favorite of many of our travelers. The British popularized chai in colonial times. Now it is almost synonymous with India: Chai truly reflects life in India! Chai wallahs--people who make or sell tea on the streets--are ubiquitous in India, offering tea brewed with jaggery (unrefined sugar), ginger, cardamom and other spices, and mixed with warm milk. Chai wallahs revel in pouring a stream of the tea from high above the pot (called pulling the chai), almost like a pizza maker twirls dough high in the air. Often, chai is served in small biodegradable clay cups and enjoyed with savory snacks like samosas.
Check out stories of chai wallahs in different regions of India on this fascinating blog: http://chaiwallahsofindia.com/about/
Here is a simple recipe for cha you can make on your stovetop: https://foodess.com/authentic-indian-chai-tea-recipe/
Join us on our next tours of India, Nov. 7-20, 2019, and Feb, 13-26, 2020, and taste the magic of chai for yourself!
Rahel and Joshua enjoying a cup of chai