In India, the act of tea drinking is woven into the cultural fabric. If you drop into a friend or neighbour's home, you'll be greeted with a steamy cup of Masala Chai which will indefinitely be brewing on the stovetop since the morning. As the day progresses, the masala chai becomes richer, more caramel in colour -- and as for the strength of brew, more stronger!
Sharing a cup of chai in India is a symbol of love. 'Chai time' is when you take a timeout, take a break to have a meaningful chat with a friend even if for a couple of moments, or a time in the day to 'recharge the batteries'. The giver of a cup of chai shows their love and hospitality to friends and loved ones when they drop in to say hello.
Morning, noon or night, a cup of Masala Chai is always welcomed as quality time to converse, exchange in lively banter and to catch up on the day's happenings.
As we spend quality time with those we love this holiday season, and show gratitude for the meaningful interactions we have in our life, celebrate that over a cup of Masala Chai.
Brew it in a big pot at home and dole it out as the hours of good conversation unravel at the dinner table, sitting room or by the fire.
Here are few variations on our Masala Chai recipe:
- use almond milk as a non-dairy substitute
- for ginger chai, grate in fresh ginger into the pot
- for minty chai, rip a few mint leaves into the pot
- sweeten or don't sweeten, chai spices are inherently sweet so omit sugar for a healthier option
- for a herbal option, use rooibos (red tea) in substitution for black tea
Thank you to all those we have shared a cup of Masala Chai with over the years--in our cooking classes, in our personal lives, with family and with friends!
Also wishing a warm Happy Thanksgiving to our friends today in the US, hope you're drinking a cuppa Masala Chai!
Stay tuned for our next post - chai masala in your holiday baking!