I have been having a lot of adrak wali chai lately. So much so that this will be a phase of chai drinking that has easily made me a good chai maker. I loved a well made adrak wali chai always but I was not the best chai maker to tell you the truth.
I craved for someone who makes a good cup of adrak wali chai and treat me with a hot cuppa. But as I got busier and busier working over the computer (read constant sitting) I did feel like a relaxing energising drink in between and tulsi adrak wali chai filled that gap.
Coffee needs more patience with the percolator filter or I need to make space for a good coffee maker, till then I settled for adrak wali chai. It was last month when my brother and his lovely wife visited us for a couple of days and both of them have been hesitant chai drinkers. When I offered my adrak wali chai they agreed to have gingerly. Pun intended.
And after having his first sip my brother announced you have started making chai just like the good chai walas.
Now that was a complement I would cherish. Especially because I make my chai in the healthiest way possible so the tannin of the tea doesn’t hamper nutrient absorption in the gut. Of course I love the taste of my own chai too, someone non-chai drinker approving of it is an achievement.
Fresh milk makes a lot of difference in how the chai tastes finally.
Day old milk even if refrigerated well, will give you inferior flavour compared to what you get with fresh milk.
Yes the final taste of the chai has a lot to do with the actual chai making procedure and of course the quality of milk used. We normally chose our tea leaves carefully, make our special blends, add spices and herbs but rarely give any thought to the quality of milk used.
recipe and right procedure for making adrak wali chai
Boil water with loads of crushed or grated fresh ginger root. Add unrefined sugar if required, as much as you need in your chai. I add 1 tsp for my big mug, 1/2 tsp if I am having chai in a small teacup. Add tulsi leaves if you like.
Once the ginger has simmered for about 4-5 minutes, add the black tea, 2 tsp per cup and switch off the stove, cover the lid to let the tea brew for at least 4 minutes.
We add more black tea (CTC tea) per cup in this method when we don't boil the tea leaves along with water and milk. The resulting tea is strong and yet with minimal tannin.
Mind it here you are not boiling the residual tea leaves repeatedly in an aluminium pot to get that taste, we always attributed the chai wala’s good chai to the way he boils the chai almost infinitely. It is very little to do with the chaipatti (CTC tea) used but how you treat the base of the brewed black tea to make your chai.
Heat full fat fresh milk, strain the tea and add as much milk as you want. I keep it half half, you can also add some malai if you like. I love my chai malai maar ke sometimes. The chai will be strong, aromatic and rich with the fresh milk taste just like the special chai of of those small town chai walas. Trust me.
So you know you don't have to boil the tea leaves to keep the tannin minimal and you have to use fresh full fat milk to get that rich chai wala style chai.
You see how fresh milk makes a difference even in the humble chai.
Getting fresh milk in cities like Delhi is a dream and we do rely on one or the other brand to get the best possible milk in our own understanding. But honestly speaking we don’t have any idea how fresh the milk is by the time it reaches our table. With dairy facilities located hundreds of miles away, the milk comes to the capital from faraway places. Of course it is pasteurised for good but still maintaining the ph of the milk to keep it from curdling for longer time is an open secret.
I wish I had a source of good fresh milk. Preferably raw milk, as I have consumed fresh raw milk in smaller towns and can vouch for its goodness.
Milk consumption in our country has been everyday staple since time immemorial. Lord Krishna loved milk and butter and his descendants were known as Yaduvanshis who made rearing cows and selling milk products as their livelihood.
Association of milk with religious rituals indicates milk has been a kosher ingredient. I remember there used to be a separate suitable place to keep milk in pre refrigeration times, it was usually a wooden cupboard with mesh door where milk and yogurt, butter etc was stocked for the day.
No wonder the health benefits of milk were known since time immemorial.
Here are the five ways how milk helps the body get stronger and healthier.
Bone health: The minerals Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium, abundant in milk help calcification of bones. Milk proteins also help building up of the bones and Vit D found in milk helps the body absorb Calcium. Low consumption of milk has been associated with osteoporosis even at younger age.
Dental health: The Calcium and Phosphorus in milk are known to keep the teeth healthy. Milk proteins (mainly casein) have been shown to help remineralization of tooth enamel.
Blood pressure management: Some studies have shown a link between milk consumption and lowered blood pressure. The Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus help the body to regulate the blood pressure while the Tryptophan in milk helps one stay calm and happy. These working together help manage hypertension.
Better sleep: The same Tryptophan in milk helps sleep better especially if the milk is consumed warm or hot at bedtime. Add some chocolate to the milk and get added benefits of Tryptophan and some flavonoids that help heal the body better.
Weight management: Milk is considered to be a complete meal and since it has enough proteins, good fats, Vit D, Tryptophan and bone strengthening minerals, the cumulative effect helps the body get into better eating habits. Full fat milk is more satiating and helps metabolize the Vit D better and Vit D deficiency is known to cause weight gain. Better get full fat milk if you want to stay fit.
Now the only concern is to get the best milk possible for our chai, coffee and the breakfast cereal.
In modern times the quality of milk is getting more and more critical to overall health as we see cows being manipulated hormonally to produce more milk and to increase their milking period. Also, the kind of feed is given to cows and buffaloes is getting murkier everyday.
No wonder I keep hearing from my readers about lactose intolerance. Some of my friends have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant and they had to give up milk completely. The reality is, that some of the additives in the milk like pesticide residues and high hormone percentage in the milk sometimes causes IBS symptoms and even allergies and people attribute those symptoms to Lactose intolerance.
Also, traces of antibiotics present in the milk can retard one’s Lactase (enzyme that digests Lactose, the milk sugar) secretion just like long courses of antibiotic also retard Lactase secretion and people can’t digest milk after prolonged illness.
Now that’s scary. Right?
I didn’t even talk about the milk coming from unorganised sector that can be adulterated with urea and detergents just to imitate the appearance of milk as these two can emulsify if whipped together and imitate the looks of milk. Not the taste thankfully.
But then the criminal milkmen mix half of this white emulsion to half real milk and pass it off as pure fresh milk. It does get scary when we think about the kind of forgeries are done with milk.
Tell me how do you find good, fresh milk around your place? What are the criteria you look for when deciding on what milk brand is good or bad?
List of references...
How antibiotics come in milk, including penicillin
FDA reports reveal antibiotics in milk
How hormones in milk can be dangerous , how it affects
How milk can be a cocktail of chemicals
Causes of Lactose intolerance
How to cure lactose intolerance