Imagine you are walking through the streets during the rainy season and all of a sudden, a downpour begins. The rain starts out. Slight drizzle but escalates to a raging downpour in a matter of moments. What do you do? You run to the nearest source of cover to take shelter from the rain, obviously. But where do you go to get that precious cover? Well, if you are lucky, you would take shelter at a chai wallah. In a country where every street has a tea shop or a cozy snack shop, it is not that difficult to get into one while it’s pouring outside!
Chai is India’s unique and flavorful take on tea. With blends of spices and masalas added in generous proportions, freshly brewed chai is a beverage that is enjoyed by one and all through the country. That is why masala chai and chai wallahs are intimately associated with the rains. It is safe to say that sipping on chai and watching the rains come down is a national pastime. It is more of an amazing experience than people might suspect at first. The rains provide a natural break to a person’s day. There really isn’t anywhere to go once the rains start pouring down. The best option is normally to wait it out. Sipping on a hot cup of chai while the rain and winds storm around you can be a very pleasant experience.
There are literally thousands of versions of chai a person can try assuming they’re willing to take the time to prepare it or find the right chai wallah to prepare it for you. An insulated thermos flask or stainless steel water bottle comes handy to store your chai the way you like it, steaming hot!
Start by learning how to make classic masala chai first. You don’t need many ingredients to get started in your own kitchen. After you master masala chai, then you can move on to more interesting variations such as:
- Oregon chai
- Kashmiri chai
- Chandra chai
- Adrak Chai
- Elaichi Chai
- Bombay Cutting Chai
- Kashmiri kahwa
- Tulsi Chai
- Sulaimani Chai
Once you find the chai you love, all you really have to do is wait for the rains to come, then sit back and enjoy yourself while sipping a flavorful cup of chai.