Dhansak is a popular Parsi dish, originating among the community centuries back. This is served with caramelized brown rice, which is rice cooked in caramel water to give it a typical taste and color. The dal cooked with mutton and vegetables served with brown rice, altogether is called dhansak. In Parsi homes, dhansak is traditionally made on […]
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:
Teas of India Cookbook
More on The place of Tea in Indian Culture on ParsiCuisine.com
INGREDIENTS 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise 6 garlic cloves, finely grated 4 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger 4 teaspoons ground turmeric 2 teaspoons garam masala 2 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1½ cups whole-milk yogurt 1 tablespoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil 1 small onion, […]
Recipe Ingredients 1 lb Turkey minced 2 eggs 4 Tbsp Cashew Nut powder for binder 1 tbsp Cumin powder 1 tbsp Chili powder 1 tbsp White pepper powder 5 tbsp Coriander fresh leaves finely chopped 1 tsp Garam masala 1 tbsp chopped green scallions (substitute onion powder if desired) 4 Tsp Vegetable Oil 2 tsp […]
Serves 6 Ingredients Spice ingredients for one pot of tea: 1/2 of a star anise star 10-12 whole cloves 7 whole allspice or 1/4 tsp ground allspice powder *See photo below 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon bark (or 2 short sticks) 7 whole white peppercorns 1 cardamon pod opened to the seeds Other ingredients: 1 […]
Wild Garlic is a favorite of mine. In India it is actually cultivated for consumption. It has the same health benefits that garlic has. Called as Garlic Chives (Garlic Organic) “Leelu Lasan” in India. Field Garlic Crow Garlic, or Onion Grass. Allium Vineale Popular nurseries sell these The flat, tender leaves have a flavor midway […]
Ginger raises new hope in fight against ovarian cancer Polly CurtisThe Guardian, Tuesday 18 April 2006 Common ginger may be the next weapon in the battle against ovarian cancer, scientists have suggested. Laboratory studies have shown that powdered root ginger could be as effective as chemotherapy for treating ovarian cancer. When research-grade ginger – which […]
Wedding Pickle Lagan nu Achaar is a Pickle made from fresh carrots, ginger, garlic, raisins, apricots, spices, sugar, jaggery and balsamic vinegar. Sweet and Savory this pickle is a great condiment on the table. Back with popular demand – I just made a batch. Click here to order. Order Lagan Nu Achaar today $7 for […]
Tukmaria Seeds (ocimum basilicum) are also known as tukham malanga. They are holy seeds in many Asian countries, due to their exceptional qualities. Although tukmaria has been part of a balanced diet in many countries for ages, it is almost unknown in many western countries. In part due to the success of their “cousin” chia […]
By Dr. K.S. Parthasarathy INDIA New England The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that in North Carolina, 61 children of Asian descent (specifically, Indians, Pakistanis and Afghans) have elevated blood lead levels (BLLs). They used non-edible (kumkum, sindoor, surma) and edible(saffron, turmeric) items that had high lead levels. Some children ate […]
Congratulations to our member Erik Treasuryvala for his Pav Bhaji Masala and Pav Bhaji recipes. Erik says – Pav Bhaji has its origins in the civil war of America in the 1860s. Read more here… Erik is a member of the Facebook Parsi Cuisine (PC) group and regularly shares his creations with us. I am […]
Khichri is a free-form dish, allowing for many variations. Although any type of lentil can be used like Mung, Tuver, or Masoor, the most common parsi version uses Tuver dal. White Basmati rice is used since it is easy to digest but brown rice can also be used for more fiber and minerals in your […]
Taja Boomla Cutlets from Vividh Vani. Only change in the recipe is that I’ve barely used any oil while frying. TAJA BOOMLA CUTLETS by Kainaaz R. Patell 6 big boomlas or 12 medium sized 2 cups Kothmir Cilantro washed and chopped fine 3 Big green chillies 1 tsp Ground pepper 4 eggs Bread crumbs or […]
Myth busted about some folks saying chicken dhansak is not traditional. Chicken Dhansak is one of the OLDEST dishes ! The Vividh Vani cookbook from circa 1800 AD has this recipe! NOTE this recipe has CHICKEN or MUTTON used. See the words circled below, they say “Marghi” which means “chicken” [amazon_link asins=’1496124529,B072BTMNDG’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’1447-5689-3485′ […]
~ Dahi Aanthelu Kaju Gos ~ (Curds Marinated Smoked Tender Lamb in Cashew Cream) by Rohinton Batlivala ▪️1 kg tender baby goat mutton (shoulder portion). Clean n cut into large chunky pieces – ‘meat-on-bone’. Wash in 3 running waters with a sea salt rub before the last rinse. Keep aside in boiyu (colander) to drain […]
Dhansak Masala Powder Ingredients: 1 Kg. Coriander seeds (Dhanya seeds) 200 grms Cumin (Jeera Seeds) 100 grms Black Pepper (Kali Mirchi) 100 grms Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds) (Omit if you are allergic to fenugreek) 100 grms Black Mustard seeds (Rai) 300 grms Red Chilies 200 grms Haldi (Turmeric powder) 50 grms Tej Patta (Tamal Patta) […]
by Dolly Contractor Ingredients 2 Cups of Coriander3-4 stems of Mint1 inch piece of fresh Ginger1 whole Garlic pod, peeled and washed3 fresh lemon’s juice3 small green mangoes7-8 green chillies1/2 cup fresh/frozen ground coconut1 tsp whole Cumin seeds1 tsp whole dry coriander seeds (Dhana)salt to […]
Ingredients 2 medium Brinjals (Eggplant) 1 onion 150 gms curd (yogurt) 2-3 chillies 100 gms peanuts Sprinkle of coriander Salt to taste Method 1) Roast brinjal over fire. 2) Make paste 3) In a pot add the brinjal paste, crushed peanuts, curds, chillies, cut onion, coriander and salt. 4) Mix it together and serve.
Falooda – a drink for the hot summer with Rose, Cream and yummy ice-cream by Rita Jamshed Kapadia In the Persian language it is called it Faloodeh or Paludeh. The Indian word “Falooda” is a Hindi and Urdu word. Faluda is Bengali as well ! Serves 4 Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 0 Ingredients […]
Ingredients 6 – 8 Salmon Fillets 2 tsp Red Chilli powder 2 tsp turmeric 1 tsp Salt Olive Oil as needed Baking Dish Prepared Creamy Coconut Chutney Method – Assemble the Baked Salmon Dish: Spread Olive oil in a baking dish. Mix turmeric, red pepper and salt over 4 salmon fillets. Spread a thick layer of […]
Lemon Grass” or “leeli-chai” and has healthy properties. You can find it in chinese markets in water containers. Here is an article on the benefits of Lemon Grass, you may find interesting. This is Indian Lemon Grass called Leeli Chai in India: Lemon grass is a perennial, aromatic tall grass with a light lemon scent used […]
It is my personal experience, this Chicken Soup improves immunity and helps during a flu or cold. Ingredients 1 lb or 4 chicken drumsticks 2 Tomatoes chopped 1 large red onion sliced 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick 2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste (adoo lasan) 1 tsp salt or to taste (optional can omit for […]
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time:30 minutes Yield: Serves 6 Ingredients: 3 lbs Chicken, Lamb, Goat meat or Mutton 1 teaspoon ginger paste 1 teaspoon garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne pepper) 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder (coriander-cumin) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup milk 2 generous pinches of saffron 1/3 cup raisins 1/4 […]
Serves 2 Ingredients: • 1 cup (chopped) spinach leaves (without stems) • 1 cup chilled fresh orange juice • 1 cup cubed mango • ¼ cup (chopped) fresh mint • 2 medium ribs celery (finely chopped) • ¼ cup (chopped) flat-leaf parsley Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Keep blending it, until it is […]
Pampus argenteus/ silver or white pomfret is a species of butterfish that lives in coastal waters off the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. This fish is prized in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region; has subtle flavour and has high Omega 3 and Vitamin content, its flesh is soft and buttery when cooked. What’s the Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement? Healthy Plant-Based Living? View Site Recipe […]
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 […]
by Jennifer Mascarenhas Few of my friends went to Sodabottleopenerwala and relished the Parsi cuisine there! While talking to me, their demand arose for home cooked versions of the restaurant dishes! So, on a recent potluck lunch, I made Parsi Berry Pulao and teamed it with some parsi ‘ kachumber’ on the side. Mumbaikars […]
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by Shirin Engineer Ingredients: I pound Mutton (Goat meat) (if Goat meat is not available then Lamb or Beef can be substituted) 2 potatoes (unpeeled) washed and cut into roughly 1 – 2 inch pieces. 2 cups of Basmati Rice I medium red Onion I bunch of cilantro destemmed and cleaned 1 bunch of Dill […]
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