Every sip of Masala chai speaks of the royal tradition of India. Its ambrosial taste and smell are just reinvigorating. But do you know how this piquant beverage rose to fame? Let us take you some 9,000 years back. Masala chai is believed to have an aristocratic origin. Ancient kings were on a continuous journey to discover and invent new, tasty, and beneficial beverages. In this process, a new delicious beverage, spiced tea, was invented. Owing to its notable benefits, it has started to get consumed on a regular basis. If someone used to get ill, Masala Chai, or what was then widely known as "Karha",would be given to that person.
The British spearheaded the process of bringing black tea leaves to India. They wanted to make India one of the world's largest producers of quality tea. The Indian Tea Association, owned by the British, took care of the production processes. Gradually, it sparked them to realize that they must promote tea first at the lower levels. They began serving tea to the workers in the factories, who slowly took to it and made tea one of their staples. Since tea was still an upmarket beverage, people started adding "masalas" to it. Masalas like cardamom, cloves, fresh ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon, etc were some of the main ingredients added to it. Soon, masala chai took the world by storm and is still thriving.
Masala chai is also quite famous for all the benefits it has to offer. Some of which are:
1) Helps in reducing inflammation: Masala Chai is a wholesome beverage with several spices, the salient one being ginger. Therefore, masala chai has anti-inflammatory properties, which help in reducing inflammation of any kind. Clove is another salient ingredient which acts as a painkiller.
2) Helps in boosting immunity: Helps in boosting immunity: Ingredients like cinnamon and clove are the energy boosting duo, which when combined form a shield for your body. Hence, spiced tea is an energy booster drink made with all natural ingredients which means no harmful side effects.
3) Helps with digestion: Elaichi, tulsi, and clove foster the digestion process. It relieves you of cramps or heaviness. Problems like indigestion, constipation, and bloating can all be prevented by drinking masala chai.
4) Rich in antioxidants: Masala Chai is composed of black tea, which is a storehouse of antioxidants. This anti-oxidizing property of black tea and the richness of elaichi and clove help in fighting high cholesterol and even prevent the formation of plaques, which may lead to blockages resulting in cardiovascular diseases. Masala chai also helps in maintaining blood pressure levels and keeps the heart rate under control.
5) Helps in increasing energy levels of your body: As we know, black tea is a major component of masala chai. It helps in increasing the energy levels of your body as it contains caffeine in appropriate quantities, which helps in energizing a person.
Famous snacks to pair with Masala Chai
When we talk about Masala Chai these snacks can’t be overlooked. Let's explore some of these mouth-watering accompaniments:
1) Rusk: This crispy delight is savored best with Masala Chai. The chai wallahs selling masala chai always have a big jar of rusk kept right beside the stove as people pair it with their appetizing beverage.
2) Shakkarpara: This irresistible snack is quite liked by the masses. Shakkarpara has its origin in Punjab and was served on paper with just a little sprinkle of sugar. Some people don’t add sugar to their spiced tea, instead they pair it with shakkarpara, which acts as a sweetener.
3) Mathri: It is a flavorful, round-shaped snack that comes in various flavors. People mostly prefer methi ki mathri to go with their chai. It is a salty and satisfying snack.
4) Fafda: A Gujarati delicacy which is now a worldwide snack goes perfectly with your masala chai. It is scrumptious, crispy and most importantly quite light.
5) Meethi Kachori: This is a snack to die for. It’s extremely popular and is even better than a normal masala kachori. It’s a combination of sweet and savory that will make your tea time just wonderful.
6) Samosa: This triangle-shaped snack is just a treat for your taste buds. It goes quite well with your chai and is the most preferred snack of all.
7) Pakora: Talking about chai and not talking about pakora is a major 'tea blunder'. They come in different flavors, with the onion ones winning everyone’s heart.
Take a look at how to make this authentic chai by following just five simple steps:
Step1. Crush the masalas lightly.
Step 2. Let them infuse in boiling water.
Step 4: Once it has reached a boil, add your milk and sugar to taste.
Enjoy your delicious cup of tea and do not forget to pair it with the snacks mentioned above.
For all those masala chai lovers out there, The Tea Shelf has a wide collection of carefully selected masala chais, which are available in different quantities and can be bought either as tea bags or loose tea. Do check them out and spice up your days with your favorite masala chai.