The place of Tea in Indian Culture

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

The place of Tea in Indian Culture

Indians love tea, they are crazy about it – and they even have a special word for it – chai.
India is one of the largest tea growers in the world. Tea is grown in the north and the south – in exotic places like Munnar in Kerala, Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri Mountains. The tea gardens are a sight to see. Beautiful terraces are carved into the earth and from far they look like manicured gardens. Tea from Darjeeling and Assam is world famous for its aroma and taste.
Tea was introduced in India by the British during early 1900’s, those were early days of the British Raj. Large swaths of land were converted for mass tea-production. Ironically, the British introduced tea in India to break the Chinese monopoly. Tea was originally consumed by the westernized Indians, but it became widely popular over time. Today, looking at the popularity of tea one cannot tell of its origins from China.
But the story of story of tea in India goes beyond the tea gardens in exotic mountains and valleys, covered with mist and lush greenery. Tea is woven intricately into the Indian social fabric.
Chai is the common equalizer in India – from the rich to the poor. No matter what their position in life, an Indian relishes a cup of tea. The rich ones have their tea served in fancy tea-pots, delicate porcelain cups on well laid out tables with cookies and pastries. The not-so-affluent have it in more humble settings. But the joy and satisfaction is the same.
No matter where you go in India, even the remote village, you are likely to find a tea-stall, with a Chai-walla brewing the concoction, squeezing every last flavor. There is always a crowd of eager and tired folks waiting patiently for their chai. Tea re-vitalizes your body. It is a great anti-oxidant.
India has one of the largest railway networks in the world. Every train station has tea-stalls. Hawkers carry tea-buckets doling out hot cups to weary travelers as the trains pull into the train stations. One of my enduring memories growing up in India is traveling on the train in the sleeper-coach and waking up to the lilting calls of the tea-hawkers.
There are many stories of how tea brings people together. When you visit friends – tea and snacks are probably the most common offering. A cup of tea bonds friendships and heals differences. A guest rejecting an offer of a cup of tea may even hurt their feelings. The ultimate bonding is sharing a cup of tea – between two people – albeit in different saucers. When you visit a commercial establishment, as a sign of respect for the customer, tea is offered. Read more in my cookbook for Tea.
Recently, I was invited to speak and present “The Place of Tea in Indian Culture and the Kerala Tea Gardens” at the Boston Athenaeum. Here is a short synopsis. I am delighted that my Cookbooks were displayed and showcased in the museum! Thanks Hannah Weisman! Hannah is the Director of Education at Boston Athenaeum.
The museum is a historical place and encourages historical books. The Boston Athenaeum is steeped in history. Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States.
Tea / Chai Recipes:
Ginger Tea
Masala Chai
Parsi Chai
Cardamom Tea
Teas of India Cookbook

More on The place of Tea in Indian Culture on ParsiCuisine.com

Easter Buns(Sugar free ) and Maska (Butter)

By ParsiCuisine.com 1 comment

INGREDIENTSEaster Buns (see recipe below)2 tbsp maska1 tbsp fruit jam (optional) INSTRUCTIONS Slice the buns and spread the maska on both sides.Heat a non-stick pan and place for a minute to make it warm.Turn off the stove.Spread Maska (see recipe) mixture inside on both sides.Serve these buns with hot parsi / irani chai / tea. […]

Seven Ways to Celebrate Navroz

By ParsiCuisine.com 1 comment

Navroze / Nowruz / Nooruz  Commemorated in a grand and elaborate fashion, preparations for  Navroze begin well in advance. Houses are cleaned to remove all the cobwebs and painted new. They are then adorned with different auspicious symbols, namely, stars, butterflies, birds and fish. New attires are ordered and made especially for the festival. On […]

Masala Chai ( Spiced Tea)

By ParsiCuisine.com 3 comments

A cup of tea shared with another person is known to create a new karma each time. So next time you have a cup of tea with someone, have good thoughts, and share good words. Health value: Antioxidant Removes Headaches, Muscle aches, soothes and relaxes. Ingredients: 2 cups water 4 tea bags, black tea 2 […]

Essentials of a parsi kitchen

By ParsiCuisine.com 8 comments

Ginger Garlic Paste 1 cup of peeled and washed ginger, garlic and green chillies. (Equal amount ratio) 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cumin seeds Grind to a paste Store in glass jar for use in refrigerator ParsiCuisine.com Books available on Amazon Manna of the 21st Century: Parsi Cuisine Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1090868391 Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0962FML7W Indian Parsi Kitchen […]

Persian Tea (Chai)

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

England isn’t the only place where you can find a great cup of tea that’s both flavorful and comforting and that pairs perfectly well with scones or biscottis—it is a favored hot beverage in many different places and cultures around the world and a common drink any time of the day. In Iran, tea is […]

Barley

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

Barley is good for constipation, cancer, kidney stones and cholesterol. Many Parsi Cuisine foods have barley flour and barley seeds.

Recipe for Barley Water

Ice Cubes for drinks

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

Ice Cubes for drinks

New year drink

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

Happy New Year ! Click here for Dudh Pak recipe ParsiCuisine.com Books available on Amazon Manna of the 21st Century: Parsi Cuisine Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1090868391 Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0962FML7W Indian Parsi Kitchen https://www.amazon.com/dp/1535410132 Celebrations: Celebrating Zoroastrian Festivals and Traditions https://www.amazon.com/dp/152381845X Dhansak: Parsi Cuisine https://amzn.to/4d92fuv

Shab-e Yalda: When Light Shines and Goodness Prevails

By ParsiCuisine.com 3 comments

Yalda on December 21 is celebrated in many parts of the world. Eating watermelon in the winter is believed to keep you healthy in the new year. Watermelon seeds are one of the items in the health food – parsi vasanu and the gujarati word is “char jat nu magaj”. Pumpkin and Watermelon seeds keep […]

Milk Penda

By ParsiCuisine.com 1 comment

Doodh Peda #Doodh #Peda #Homemade #MilkPeda #Recipe #Diwali #Special #Sweet #doodhpeda #diwali Doodh Peda | Sweets & SavouriesSweets are those delicacies that make a definite appearance in every Indian festival and function, be it Diwali, a housewarming party or a wedding function. And doodh peda is one of the most common sweets at these occasions. Yet, most people prefer to order them from […]

Tea of India – Chai

By ParsiCuisine.com 5 comments

Chai is the common equalizer in India – from the rich to the poor. No matter what their position in life, an Indian relishes a cup of tea. The rich ones have their tea served in fancy tea-pots, delicate porcelain cups on well laid out tables with cookies and pastries. The not-so-affluent have it in […]

Combat heat with these foods

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

The Ancient Practice Of Ayurveda Can Combat Modern Day Extreme Heat The 5000-year-old ‘science of life’ is believed to have been conceptualized by the Hindu God Brahma in India. by Sunita SohrabjiAugust 12, 2023 Beating the heat in Assam, India. (image credit: Rohan Reddy, Unsplash) Beating the heat in India Extreme heat is not new for […]

The Perfect Cup Of Chai Comes In A Box

By ParsiCuisine.com No comments

Monica Sunny boxes up and preserves the goodness of spices, traditions, and rituals of chai-making. Chai Box Chai Recipe Serving: 2 Cups of Chai Ingredients 1 cup of water 1 cup of milk or nut milk 3-4 tsp of True Blend (loose leaf tea blend) 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed open 2 cloves, lightly crushed […]

Earth Day

By ParsiCuisine.com 4 comments

Happy Earth Day