The Ritual of Chai in Desi Homes

Chai 3x a Day

Chai is consumed at various times of the day in South Asian homes. It is a common morning beverage, and it's also enjoyed as an afternoon pick-me-up and in the evening around 4-5pm. It's always served to guests as a gesture of hospitality.

Tea Making Process

Here's a basic process for making chai:

  • Water is brought to a boil in a pot.
  • Loose tea leaves or tea bags are added to the boiling water along with fresh chai masala ground up in a Mortar and Pestle and sugar.
  • After simmering for a few minutes, milk is added to the pot.
  • The tea is simmered again until it reaches the desired strength and flavor.
  • It is then strained into cups or glasses.
Chai Masala

Many Desi households have their own special chai masala (spice mix) recipes. These masalas add a unique flavor and aroma to the tea. Some families keep their chai masala as a well-guarded secret.