A Tea Time Story…
This incident happened when we were visiting my in-laws at Kannur, the beautiful coastal city of Kerala, where my husband spent most of his childhood. It was not long after we got married.
My father-in-law was retired at that time and my mom-in-law was still working. She worked as an elementary school teacher . My sis-in-law (whom Sonshine lovingly calls Kee) was at her college at Vatakara. What I am trying to say here is that it was just me, my husband and my father-in-law at home that day.
My mom-in-law always made sure that she prepared lunch before she went to work.
The day was quite uneventful. We watched TV, had lunch, took a nap and were eagerly waiting for my mom-in-law to come back. Neither my husband nor his dad are
big talkers. I wait for my mom-in-law to return from school to have conversations. It’s almost tea time. I am hoping that mom-in-law arrives before it’s time for tea. I have never made tea in my life. I am a coffee person.
It’s almost 4:30PM. Suddenly, breaking the peace and quiet, the phone rings. My husband’s friend, they were in grade school together, and now the friend is working in Dubai, is in town and would like to visit him.
The friend comes, after exchanging pleasantries, we sit down, relax and talk. They talk about the good old school days, their pranks – it’s all happy fun times and pleasant. I can see my husband subtly eyeing me. I understand – it is time to offer refreshments. Oh My God!
Refreshments? What do I offer? Water? Juice? And some snacks to go with that. It’s almost evening tea time.So should I offer tea?
Tea? What am I thinking? I have never made tea in my life. Don’t want to make it today.
May be, I can suggest coffee. I make good coffee.
What if the friend is allergic to coffee?
What if the friend insists that he wants tea?
What if the friend wants coffee and my father-in-law insists on tea?
What if ?
The friend asks me something. I am staring at the wall, like in a trance, unable to open my mouth. My husband understands my situation and helps me by answering the question. I keep praying that the friend says coffee. Please say coffee, Please say coffee, I pray quietly. Looks like neither god nor the friend heard my chanting.
To my utter dismay, he says, tea.
I walk to the kitchen, trembling like a leaf in a gusty wind, and sweating like I have been working out for 2 hours.
I get the milk, water, sugar and tea powder. I can do this, I tell myself. I have seen my mom-in-law make tea.
So, I start by boiling water, added about a tablespoon of tea dust(powder). Hmm smells just about right. Oh, the color, – that does not look good. May be another tablespoon of tea powder would do the trick. Just about there. Add another tablespoon. Perfect. Wow, I am good at making tea.
I boil the tea, strain it. Add sugar. Pour it into glasses.
Add milk. How much ever milk I add, the tea does not taste good. Some more milk, may be. Nah, what it needs is sugar. I add another teaspoon of sugar. Oh, no, its too sweet. Some milk, may be.
This went on for a while. I gave up, mainly because there was no more milk to add.
I served this tea-decoction-like-drink, with plenty of snacks to go with it. I hoped that the snacks would mask the taste of tea-decoction-like-drink.
After that day, my father-in-law stopped asking me to make tea for him for a long, long time. And as for the friend, I do hope he is still my husband’s friend.
I do make tea now, but definitely not the tea-decoction-like-drink.
What surprises me today is that first “drink” post is about tea and not something with coffee. Hmmm…
Did you notice that I used the same photo for Craving For the Ordinary? Good. Just checking whether you are paying attention. :).
I use the term Chai Latte , just to convey that there is milk involved in this tea preparation. While doing my research on fat contents of milk, I learnt that India is the largest producer and consumer of milk. Want to know more? Read this wikipedia article.
Yields 2 cups
Indian style Cardamom Chai
10 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
- 1 cup Milk See tip
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Tea Dust/Powder
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/2 inch Ginger finely, chopped
- 3 tsp Sugar
- In a pan, add all the ingredients - milk, water, sugar, cardamom powder, chopped ginger,tea dust/powder.
- Bring it to a boil on medium high heat.
- Simmer down for 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat and boil again.
- Using a fine wire meshed sieve, strain the tea into a cup. Pour from the cup into the serving cup from a height to make it frothy.
- Serve hot.
I use the 2% Organic Milk from the US grocery stores or Morning Fresh Dairy
If you are using skimmed milk, then do not add water. You can directly use the skimmed milk. So, for this recipe you would use two cups of skimmed milk, do not add water and proceed as given in the recipe.
In India, Pasteurized Toned Milk (any brand) is 3% fat milk, whereas Pasteurized Double Toned Milk (any brand) is equivalent to the skimmed milk and is about 1.5% fat milk. I have given links to different brands of milk, I have used in India, just to show that most of the brands of milk in India, follow this rule.