Piping hot chai holds a warm place in the heart of India. Although it might sound odd that a scorching hot beverage be so widely enjoyed in one of the worlds warmest countries, chai actually cools the body. It does this by raising core body temperature above ambient air temperature.
In many parts of India there is a saying that loosely translates as: “spiced chai… the tea that eats like a meal” - and in certain parts of India it is true. Traditional Indian chai is a heady mix of spice and tea. Chai recipes are handed down from generation to generation the way westerners pass on grandmas' apple pie recipe. The tea is traditionally brewed by boiling milk, adding good thick black tea, various spices and then boiling it again. The resulting mixture is thick, spicy and incredibly full-bodied.
Indian chai-sellers, known as chai wallahs, sell their concoctions at roadside stalls, train stations, and anywhere you can think of. The tea is served in small clay cups known as chullarhs that are smashed on the ground once the tea is finished. Learn more...