Chai Masala. India

When I went to India I had to try the famous Chai Masala (you don’t say “chai tea” as “chai” means “tea” already). I saw little clay cups all around the streets, stocked or broken on the floor and was not sure what this was until it was served to me.  The cups are made very poorly and cheaply out of clay, fired in low temperatures (there are very light fire marks on some of them). When you drink tea, your lips sort of stick to the cup (I guess the difference of dry clay and wet lips?). Tea itself is carried in a plastic bag, even though it is hot! When you are done with your tea, you discard the cup, it easily breaks. I think it is better for the environment then plastic cups. I am surprised that the tea itself is in a bag, it is illegal to sell goods in a plastic bag in India, you are often given a textile bag instead.
The tea was very pleasant, not too sweet, lots of milk, but not overpowering the tea flavor. I have saved my 2 cups and I hope to serve Chai Masala to you one day using those cups.

Wiki says about the cups: “A kulhar (Hindustani: कुल्हड़ or کلہڑ) or kulhad, sometimes called a shikora, is a traditional handle-less terracotta cup from North India and Pakistan that is typically unpainted and unglazed, and meant to be disposable.[1] Since kulhars are made by firing in a kiln and are almost never reused, they are inherently sterile and hygienic.[2] Bazaars and food stalls in the Indian subcontinent traditionally served hot beverages, such as tea, in kuhlars, which suffused the beverage with an “earthy aroma” that was often considered appealing.[3] Yogurt, hot milk with sugar as well as some regional desserts, such as kulfi(traditional ice-cream), are also served in kulhars”

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4 thoughts on “Chai Masala. India

  1. I am from India and out here we serve not just chai but also other beverages in clay cups (traditionally they are called kulhad ). It definitely is an environment friendly option and is also considered to be very hygienic!

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