Parsi Dhansak Recipe. (Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)

Parsi Dhansak Recipe. (Also spelt as  Dhansaak, Dhanshak,  Dhunsak, Thansak)

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 […]

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The place of Tea in Indian Culture

The place of Tea in Indian Culture

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

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Sheek Kababs

Sheek Kababs

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Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

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 […]

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How to make Dhansak masala at home

How to make Dhansak masala at home

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) […]

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Mutton Pulao

Mutton Pulao

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 […]

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Tomato and Eggs (Tabota par Eeda)

Tomato and Eggs (Tabota par Eeda)

Parsi Community are Egg Lovers. We put eggs in our Cakes, Vegetables, Kebabs, Curry, Rice Pilaos, Garnishes, Custards! Tomato and Eggs go so well together. I made Tomato and Eggs a parsi favorite yesterday. It is a sweet and spicy dish with ginger, garlic and  Indian spices. Recipe  INGREDIENTS          1 kg ripe tomatoes 1 tsp. […]

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