The place of Tea in Indian Culture

By Rita 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

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Seven Ways to Celebrate Navroz 2020

By Rita 1 comment

Navroze / Nowruz / Nooruz is on March 21, 2020. 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 […]

To your good health as always

By Rita No comments

‎Darius Umrigar‎  For Tennis elbow, knee pain, bone injury, twisted ankles, wrist issues, muscle inflammations or inflammation due to injury Kindly do as follows: Purchase these ingredients: 100 gms pure organic Turmeric powder. 50 gms allum,( phitkari or fatakri) 25gms sea salt thats used in cooking and not the iodised salt please. Take 100 gms of […]

Tea of India – Chai

By Rita 4 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 […]

Dhanshak Masala

By Rita No comments

Dhanshak Masala While preparing the Parsi delight Dhanshak, you need not bother about curating various spices for enhancing the taste. Just use Badshah Dhanshak Masala and let your guests keep guessing the secret of your culinary skills. We ensure to keep the authenticity of its traditional taste intact in this spice mix.

Parsi Mutton Cutlets

By Rita 5 comments

By Rita Jamshed Kapadia Ingredients 250 gm mutton mince 1 tsp ginger paste 1 tsp garlic paste 1 green chilli, coarsely ground 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 tsp red chilli powder 1/2 tsp clove-cinnamon powder or garam masala 2 Tbsp potatoes, boiled and mashed 5 mint leaves , chopped coarsley 1 Tbsp chopped coriander Salt to […]

The Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamun

By Rita 1 comment

Saffron Elaichi Gulab Jamun  by Rita Jamshed Kapadia The Gulab Jamun is one of the most popular indian sweet, served at restaurants in the states.”Gulab” means “Rose” and “Jamun” means a “Drop”. Translated these are literally “Drops of Rose”. In this recipe the flavor is real kesar (saffron) *and elaichi (cardamom) * so I call these “Drops […]

White Pumpkin Preserve “Kohra no Murambo”

By Rita 3 comments

“Kohra (White Pumpkin)  Murambo (Preserve)” recipe is included in the cookbook . White Pumpkin Preserve is flavored with hints of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg with an amber caramel color which come from hours of gently simmering the grated pumpkin. Truly,  this Kohra no Murambo is a labor of love in the finest traditions of the Parsis.  […]

Health benefits of Bay Leaves

By Rita 2 comments

Health benefits of Bay Leaves

Cooking With the Parsis

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Cooking With the Parsis; Parsi: Indian Spices, Mideastern Cooking; Tehmina Alphonse’s Parsi Recipes Method for Making Ghee Kheema Kebabs (Spiced meatballs) Mango Kulfi Dhansak (Chicken with lentil puree) By Craig Claiborne PRINCETON, N.J. WOULD YOU come to dinner?” Tehmina Alphonse asked. “I will prepare you the traditional meal of the Parsis in India. Our culture […]

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

By Rita 22 comments

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 […]

Nan Khatai

By Rita 3 comments

Nan Khatai These soft cookies are similar to the European dutch shortbread cookies. I flavored them with Rose and Cardamon. Very easy and fun to make.  Makes 12 Ingredients 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter (salted is fine but omit the pinch of salt) 1/2 tsp. double-acting baking […]

Health benefits of sumac

By Rita 1 comment

Meet Sumac, the Superfood Spice That’ll Help You Fight Inflammation—and Bland Food—for Good The ancient herb sumac—made from ruby-colored berries that are ground into a beautiful, coarse powder that bursts with color and flavor—has been underappreciated in American cooking (if you immediately thought of poison ivy, you’re wrong!) for centuries. We’re here to fix that. […]

Stainless Steel Round Indian Spice Box

By Rita 4 comments

Stainless Steel Round Indian Spice Box with 7 Containers, Kitchen Masala Dabba, Spice Container – Silver Color, 7.3 Inch

Which Spice are you?

By Rita 3 comments

Zodiac Sign for Spices I’m linking this recipe to Fiesta Friday #286, co-hosted this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Mango Murraba (Parsi Murambo) Recipe

By Rita 9 comments

Celebrate  with this glorious Mango Murraba anyday. #mangoseasonison #ilovemangoes #mangoisthekingoffruits #mangolove #mango Ingredients 1 kg semi-ripe mangoes (any variety, but for best results and taste, either alphonso, or, even better still, the `bottle’ mango, `batli keri’. Best to use are small green, totally unripe mangoes. But then add more jaggery, according to taste.) White or […]

Coconut Mango Burfi – diamonds make the best display

By Rita No comments

Coconut Mango Burfi Note: No artificial colors used. This post and recipe were created for #SummerDessertWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always the opinions are 100% my own. Ingredients 1/2 kg aamras (mango puree) 1/2 cup sugar 250 gm desiccated coconut 1/2 cup milk powder 1/2 tsp cardamom powder 1/2 cup […]

Salted Lassi with Coriander and Cumin

By Rita 2 comments

Drink Indian Cumin Lassi without sugar. Great for Diabetics.  Salted Lassi is healthy and nutritious for your body. This drinks is like the indian chaas which is very good for the digestion. Enjoyed as a breakfast drink to cleanse the body of toxins. Ingredients: Plain Yogurt 1 cup Water 1 cup Coriander leaves 3 Cumin […]

Do you measure?

By Rita 2 comments

Friday Fiesta co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Chicken Tikka Masala

By Rita 6 comments

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, […]

Sheek Kababs

By Rita No comments

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 […]

Bhakhra (Fried Cakes)

By Recipes from Parsi Cuisine 22 comments

by Rita Jamshed Kapadia Bhakhras are fried cakes and can be savored with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Please use Caraway Seeds not shah jeera or any substitute. The flavor of caraway seeds is different. I get so many inquiries for where to get these. Many grandmothers in Ahmedabad swear by this flavor […]

Wedding Pickle, Lagan nu Achar

By Rita No comments

Wedding Pickle, Lagan nu Achar

Super Bowl Game Snack : Paneer Tikka

By Rita No comments

Served as an appetizer Paneer Tikka is very healthy for kids and adults alike. Go Pats! Recipe featured on Cover of our Vegetarian Delights Cookbook. Purchase HERE. INGREDIENTS : 2 cups paneer cubes, about 1″ each 2 tsp garlic paste 2 tsp ginger paste 1 tsp chaat masala 2 tsp chilli powder tandoori masala 1 […]

PATRA NI MACHHI – FISH WITH CHUTNEY IN BANANA LEAVES

By Rita 4 comments

PATRA NI MACHHI – FISH WITH CHUTNEY IN BANANA LEAVES

Recipe Contest Winner: Pav Bhaji

By Rita 5 comments

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 […]

Health benefits of Ganthoda powder and Vasanu

By Rita 8 comments

Health benefits of Ganthoda powder and Vasanu

Besan Ladoo

By Rita 5 comments

One of the most popular and favorite sweets that are made during the Diwali festivities are “Besan Ladoo”. These ladoos are offered to the gods as offerings, distributed to family and friends and enjoyed as a blessing. This same ladoo is used in a ceremony for besna – besan ladoos are kept. For paglaru ceremony khaman […]

Milk Pudding

By Rita 12 comments

Milk Pudding Serves 4 Ingredients 6 cups milk 1/4 cup raw Rice 1 cup sugar Few pistachios, almonds and saffron strands for garnish 1 tsp cardamom powder Method 1. Process the raw rice in any food chopper till it is broken up in small bits. 2. Boil the rice, milk and sugar till creamy consistency. […]

Instant Pot: Ayurvedic Detox with Khichri

By Rita 10 comments

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 […]

Bombay Duck (Boomla) Cutlets

By Rita 1 comment

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 […]

How to make Dhansak masala at home

By Rita 10 comments

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) […]

Green Coconut Chutney

By Rita No comments

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 […]

Baingan (Eggplant) Bharta with Curd (Yogurt)

By Rita No comments

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.

Kaanda Keri ma gos

By Rita 4 comments

Delicious Mutton with small onions called “Doongri” in India. In summer (June – July), they are sold in the indian market. In fact there is a town called “Doongri” that I visited with my parents. These photos were sent from Surat, India. Thanks Hoshang Gandhi. Mangoes, Small whole Onions and Vinegar with Meat make a […]

Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney: Parsi Patra ni Maachi

By Rita 17 comments

While vacationing in Dahanu a couple of years back, and driving back to Gujarat from the Maharashtra state. I saw fisher women selling promfrets, pronounced locally as pamplets on the roadside. Dahanu is a coastal town and a municipal council in Palghar district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is located 110 km from Mumbai […]

Chutney and Salmon with a new twist

By Rita 5 comments

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 […]

Mutton Pulao

By Rita 5 comments

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 […]

Rita’s Secret Cashew Lamb Curry revealed!

By Rita 8 comments

Rita’s Secret “Kaju Mutton ” Cashew Lamb Curry revealed ! Lamb can be substituted with Mutton. Kaju is a Indian word for Cashew. (Cashews can be substituted with Almonds) Ingredients 4 lbs boneless Lamb Marinate lamb 10 tsp. Ginger Garlic paste 3 tsp Salt 1 tsp turmeric powder Fry in hot oil 2 medium onions grated […]

Seven recipes to celebrate Parsi New Year 2017

By Rita No comments

Satisfy your Parsi Food cravings. We hope you will cook delicious, mouth-watering food with the recipes, cookbooks and videos provided on this site. Get $5 off our books for the coming Parsi New Year Celebrations.  Apply Discount Code “AFDX5BD5” * Sale ends August 31, 2017 Click on image to go to the Amazon Create Space shopping cart. Next, add […]

Silver Pomfret Fry

By Rita No comments

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 […]

Cucumber Pickle made fresh from Summer Cucumbers

By Rita No comments

Made fresh from Summer Cucumbers, which are a plenty here in USA 🙂 With 5 large ones and the heat of the summer, I knew these cukes would go bad soon. After 5 minutes of wondering what to do with the whole batch, I thought of making a pickle/pani nu achar with the cucumbers. Guess […]

Masala Chai ( Spiced Tea)

By Rita 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 […]

Shrimp Patio

By Rita 4 comments

              Ingredients 3 Onions finely chopped2 lbs Prawns or Shrimp3 Green chilles finely chopped2 tsp Garlic finely minced1 bunch Kotmir ( coriander leaves)1 tsp Haldi ( tumeric) powder1 tsp red chilli powder1 tsp Cumin seeds1 tsp dhanya powder2 inch piece of Jaggery5 Tomatoes finely chopped1 tsp Salt Method1. Marinate the […]

80 Biryanis around the world

By Rita No comments

Best Biriyani Around the world and its Origin Biryani was originated in Iran (Persia) and it was brought to South Asia by Iranian travelers and merchants. Local variants of this dish are popular not only in South Asia but also in Arabia and within various South Asian communities in Western countries. The spices and condiments […]

Essentials of a parsi kitchen

By Rita 5 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

Green Chillies

By Rita 1 comment

Hindi Name: Hari Mirch A spice without which Indian cuisine would be incomplete, the most common variety of chilli used apart from red is the green. These are used with or without the stalks, whole or chopped, with seeds or deseeded. They are used fresh, dried, powdered, pickled or in sauces. Though not used in […]

Red Chilli

By Rita 1 comment

Hindi Name: Lal Mirch Dried red pepper may be used whole or powdered. India is the largest producer of red chillies. As the name suggests it is red in color and can be consumed as it is or can be broken down and made into a powder. It is really spicy and the intense heat […]

Dhansak Masala (Spices for Dhansak)

By Rita 2 comments

by Niru Gupta Dhansak masala might seem tedious at first glance but is totally worth the effort! It’s a popular dish of the Parsi Zoroastrian community and combines elements of Persian and Gujarati cuisine. Ingredients 250 gm sabut dhania 125 gm jeera 125 gm sabut lal mirch 10 gm shahi jeera 10 gm mustard seeds […]

Zarin’s Secrets

By Rita 2 comments

  Zarin’s Secrets, is a venture started by me through which I am trying to revive old Parsee recipes. I have with me, my grand mothers old recipes for Home Made Authentic Masalas as well as Bhakras , chutney for Patra ni Machi , Kolmi No Achchar, Gajar meva nu achchar, Kachi keri no Murabbo […]

Saffron

By Rita 5 comments

Before using in cooking, soak the saffron strands in a teaspoon of warm water or milk. Crush tenderly to release the flavor from the strands. Use very little, 5 strands are enough for 1 cup of rice. Too much saffron makes the food (pulao) very pungent. How to grow Saffron: Saffron is harvested from a […]