Arre Huzoor, Wah Anuja Kahiye!
(No, not for Aamir Khan this time, but for me! Yippeee...)
Why? Because I’m going to share with you the bestest tea recipe in the whole world.
(How do I know this is the best formula around the globe? Coz I’ve tasted quite a few teas myself, and this is my verdict. Period.)
Of course, I’m going to give you some gyaan later from wiki about chai and chaipatti. But, first things first!! Read carefully, make diligently and let me know how you found the entire experience...
Here goes, got your pens and notepads ready??
Awrite then... Here’s the guidelines for one cuppa tea. (Multiply all measures by number of cups when making for many.)
The ingredients : water, sugar, salt (just kiddin!!), grated ginger, tulsi (holy basil) leaves, tea powder and milk. You’ll have to keep a vessel, strainer, cup and spoon ready. And you’re all set!!
Take the mug you intend to have chaa in, and fill it half with water (room temperature; normal tap-water will also do, you’re going to boil it anyway). Pour the amount in a vessel and let it boil. Grate the ginger while the fire does its deal. (I don’t know about grams and teaspoons, but a spoonful of grated ginger should be sufficient; more if you’d like it to burn your throat a little. Breaks my heart when I have to drink ginger-less tea. And repulses me when folks like their tea with elaichi = cardamom)
Now, add the ginger and sugar (I prefer my tea sweet, so I put in about 2-3 spoonfuls). When the water starts bubbling, tear the tulasi leaves in half and add them to the boiling water so that the flavor dissolves nicely. (Tulsi and ginger are good for you, didn’t your momma tell you that?!)
Now add one spoonful of tea powder to the concoction and let it simmer. When it threatens to boil over, add half a cup of milk. (Mum says kachcha doodh makes the tea tastier, but it’s ok even if it’s boiled in the past.) Now watch the delightful light brown brew till it bubbles.
(Decide if you wish to add more milk/sugar/tea powder if something feels amiss. Don’t harbor any doubts. Go with your gut feeling. That’s the way to live life, folks!!)
And now when the potion comes to the top, reduce the flame and let it boil awhile. Play “High Flame-Boil-Reduce Flame” twice, and then when it comes up again, the final time, turn off the gas. Shake the vessel in a round motion twice, hold the strainer in the cup, and pour.
Ah ah! You’re not done yet! Pour all the teapowder and residue into the strainer and squeeze it nice and proper with the spoon, till not a drop of tea remains in the dregs. NOW you’re done!
(I’m not done even now. Mum insists we throw the waste in the trash can, wash the vessel and strainer, and hang it up to dry before we enjoy our hard-earned tea.)
(Which is good for me in a way, as the first film of malai gets solidified enough to be lifted out with a spoon and washed off... A silver lining in every black cloud!)
And now, you sit down with your legs propped up (as I’ve said before) and give in to the heavenly taste of the mast tulsi-adrak chai. Sip it and savor the taste, the fiery ginger tang, the aftertaste of the basil leaves, the sweetness of the sugar... Yumm... I can actually feel it in my mouth at the moment!! And the aroma as the flames rise up... Ooohhh!! Orgasmic!!
No cookies, no biscuits and no bread or toast. To have tea with anything else is to dilute the flavor and experience. You may switch on the TV as you sip the chai, but make sure your eyes are on the mug when you drink. It’s paradise in itself. And don’t gulp it down! Just like I mentioned in meeting mantras... (Of course, if you’re at home, you can slurp all you want. Makes it even better!!) Let each drop get in touch with every corner of your mouth, let the tongue make contact with the essence and memorize the sensation for future reference... And that’s when you’ve earned your tea!!
(Hey, that’s like the tag-line of Cadbury Bournville. Have you tried it?)
Well well well... An entire post on making and drinking tea?!! I seem to have gone nuts! Not much time left for wikipedi-c banter, but here’s the link if you’re interested - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea
Please note : Do try this at home!! This ain’t no stunt, and you’re gona love it!!
Thoughts and reactions welcome!