Daily Fix: Strong, medium or light
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Chaya, the quintessential tea is the rhythm of life for a Malayali. Come rain or shine, it is our all-time pick-up drink.
Headache? Have tea. A cold or sore throat? Drink Chukku Kaapi (dry ginger brew). We all have heard variations of this advice over the years. But, how do you make chaya? A typical Malayali answer will be; boil water, add tea dust and milk, stir in sugar. Tada! The traditional Kerala tea is ready. That simple, eh? Let me rephrase; how do you take your tea? Strong, medium, light? Or double strong? With, without or moderate sweet? A splash of milk or black? Aha, the crucial questions that go into the making of your perfect cup. Remember the scene in Swantham Lekhakan, aka Swa. Le., a 2009 Malayalam film, showing a group of reporters at a chayakada (tea shop). Everyone orders tea, yet to the bafflement of the on-screen chayakadakkaran (the tea shop owner), no two individuals order it the same way – a quick reminder of the diversity in our tea-drinking habit. Light, medium, strong, or the occasional double strong, with or without, black or with milk, tea is a big thing for us. Be it a quick fix or a drawn-out one, we all have our way of taking tea, and no other way provides that pleasure. We bond over a cup of tea; even life decisions are made :) From mundane to the grave, no topics are off-limits. For some people like my Appu (short for Appuppan, paternal grandfather) tea is any time of the day drink. I loved to watch him having his tea as a kid. He drank numerous cups every day. Every time he returned to the house after going out he will call Achamma (paternal grandmother) and ask for tea. Achamma always in sync with this habit will already have the water boiling for tea. She will pour the tea piping-hot into a steel glass and bowl set. My Appu will then proceed to pour the chaya from a height (called chaya attuka) into the bowl and back into the glass twice or thrice, creating a frothy top. After that, the tea is poured into the glass until it is half full. Then, he will sit up straight and slowly take a loud sip. What comes after is an 'aah' of contentment. Total bliss. I inherited my love for tea from him.
Here I am sharing my love for tea with you. Warm yourself from the inside out with these simple brews. Happy sipping!
Tea recipes I love
(Ginger Black Tea with Lemon for sore throat and nausea)
Ginger Black Tea with a slice of Lemon, definitely, my go-to beverage during both pregnancies. I must have had hundreds of cups during the time. Well, I was puking my innards out and the Ginger-lemon black did help to calm it 😊 Ginger and lemon are rich sources of antioxidants. Ginger helps soothe nausea, upset stomach, and your various aches. Ginger has a tradition of being used for the treatment of various ailments like colds, cough, sore throat, nausea, digestive issues, inflammation, and pain. In Ginger Black Tea with a slice of Lemon, Ginger acts as an anti nauseating agent to the body. Besides adding a zing to your tea, the Lemons are a powerhouse of Vitamin C. Adding a touch of lemon to your tea will give an immune boost to your system. If you are feeling under the weather, Ginger Black Tea with a slice of Lemon is the right choice for soothing your ailments.
A frothy piping hot cup of chaya is the typical Malayali way of starting the day. The traditional Kerala tea/ chaya is an equal parts concoction of milk and water. Chayya is not simply a morning drink, it's a part of the Malayali hospitality. Whenever someone comes calling he is invariably greeted with a cup of hot tea. Whatever is the occasion, it is our all-time pick-up drink. Energize your day with a delicious cup of Kerala Chaya.
Stress is relative and inescapable. Finances, health, home, workplace whatever be the reason we just can't completely do away with it. That's why I prefer a cup of Tulsi tea on days that are particularly trying. Tulsi is preeminent to Ayurveda. Oft hailed as 'the incomparable one' Tulsi is a natural stress buster rich in antioxidants. It has the capacity to boost our immune system. An adaptogen, Tulsi helps us to cope with all types of stress today’s life throws at us, be it physical or psychological. So, let's de-stress with Tulsi Tea.
Sulaimani, the famous Malabar black tea, is the perfect combination of spices, tea leaves, lemon, and sugar. Believed to have been originated from a brew of dates and pepper called Ghava consumed by the Prophet Mohammed, it was introduced to the Malabar region by the Arab traders, where the brew underwent changes and was infused with the local spices to become the Sulaimani tea. An accompaniment to a heavy meal, this golden tea infused with the goodness of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon is a perfect way to end a hearty meal. Brewed to a light golden perfection, the Sulaimani tea is believed to aid in digestion, improve bodily functions, and give an immune boost to your system. This all-weather concoction is an ideal way to appease your palate.