How to make Chai or Indian Tea? 10 different styles

Different people share their Secrets of brewing perfect Chai – from vessels to spices, to the ratio of milk to water, everything matters.

Thing with chai is that everyone has their own style of making it, and there is nothing that can be called a ‘Perfect’ recipe.

Everyone has a different variant – when to add sugar, when to add tea leaves, how much to boil, spices to add – There can be a perfect recipe for one person, but not a universal or globally accepted procedure for the same. So whatever you end up making, as long as you enjoy the cup, its perfect.

Chai in glass
Chai in glass

Image Credits : Shashank Aggarwal

However to share the best practices and procedures for making the humble chai, we asked our users on how they like to make their Chai and here are some of the responses.

Suprapta Ghosh No milk… love my Darjeeling tea brewed over boiling water and the aroma of Orange pekoe or earl grey just with a sugar cube.

Saurabh Kakkar Though I ve started having green tea… But whenever I have normal tea the ratio of water and milk is 50:50, i love to add adrak, elaichi and laung and to make one cup I use 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup milk and then boil it until one cup is left. (Adrak – Ginger, Elaichi – Cardamom, Laung – Cloves)

Harvi V Manku I like my chai without sugar but when making for hubby, I add sugar when the water starts boiling (I put in cardamom and ginger too) – let it boil for a good 2/3 minutes and then add milk :).

Chai in Kulhad
Chai in Kulhad

Image Credits : Anuradha Gupta

Aman Kahlon First of all you need a Peetal a Pateela (without kalai) to make cha. No water only Milk as milk already has the required amount of water these days. (Matlab Dudh te Patti Thok ke te Paani rok ke). Thrown in some bashed adrak, cheeni, bashed elaichi and Kadak Patti (Wagh bakri) ubalo for 4-5 times and Pour in a tea glass.

Reemz Patnaik 3/4 water,1/4 milk, a teaspoon or so chai Patti n boil till nice brown…first cup always with sugar :D. 

Mansi Kaur Dhunna Adrak wali chaa…Ek chamach chini teh 1/4th cup duddh … 2 uballey…chaano te piyo.

Mansi Udeshi UpretiMy chai has a set recipe. One cup tea will have water and milk in equal ratio, add one tbsp chai Patti, 2 tbsp sugar , 1/2 tsp homemade chai masala, 1/2 inch ginger piece. And let it brew till it gets lovely golden color.

निहारिका सिंह Doodh patti…tata tea city…milk n water 9:1..sugar…all put together to boil on lowest flame n filter after five minutes.
P.S. i love it with parle-G biscuits

Moumita Rudra I like my tea with less sugar, some ginger, thick milk and Assam tea smile emoticon don’t like too much boiled tea…it should be light in color…say somewhat pinkish or so…I prefer power milk when it comes to tea actually

truck Driver Chai - Cha bar
Truck Driver Chai from Oxford Cha Bar in Delhi.
 Image Credits : Kriti Nagpal

Mukul Aloria 1St of all boil water with sugar, ginger and elaichi after few mins add milk in it and then in last add patti… see the difference you would love it i bet.. thats how we make it at home 🙂

Sheetal Juneja Ati Depends with what you are having…. More milk when having with Stuffed paranthas. Less milk when you want to enjoy the flavour. And yes NO sugar ??

Now that you know a few tricks, time to to get experimenting your and see if you get are able to brew that cup you love. Whatever you do, do comeback and share it in the comments. If you click pictures, do upload them on along with the process in a line or two, would be of great help to other food lovers.

Featured Image Credits : Kunal Arora

Crispy Sausage Omelet – Bachelor Pad Recipes

You just need eggs and sausages (Chicken, pork etc). Salt and seasoning to taste.

Crispy sausage omelet being made
Beat 2 eggs (you can make with as many eggs as you want) and add them into the pan where sausages are being fried.
Chicken sausages being shallow fried.
Shallow fry the chicken sausages. Make sure you go slow, let them spend time on lowest flame possible.
Crispy Sausage omelet with my favorite Tops Ketchup
Crispy Sausage Omelet – ok I messed up a bit, but you get the feel of it.. 😉

Lauki Paneer – Healthy, Easy & Oil Free Recipe by Sarika Behal

This is has to be one of the most popular and tried recipe on our forums. When I saw multiple posts about how tasty this dish is, I couldn’t help but wonder how can lauki taste so nice in a gravy.

Lauki Paneer
Illustrated by Anuradha Gupta (Text and Pictures)
Original Recipe by Sarika Behal
Finally I tried my hands on the very easy, healthy and delicious Lauki Paneer recipe by Sarika.
This is has to be one of the most popular and tried recipe on our forums. When I saw multiple posts about how tasty this dish is, I couldn’t help but wonder how can lauki taste so nice in a gravy.

The results were more than satisfying and everyone kept raving about the lovely creamy texture of the gravy and when I disclosed the fact that this has been made minus the butter, cream and ghee, people were awestruck.Also this can be a great replacement for the loaded Shahi Paneer.

This is a great recipe for fussy eaters who hate the sight of the lauki/ghiya/bottle gourd and the people who love to watch their calories.
Recipe: Serves 2


Ingredients :
Olive Oil : 2 Tbsps {I know the title says oil free but only 2 tbsp is almost like nothing ;)}
Paneer : 150 Gms
Garlic : 3 – 4 cloves chopped
Ginger : An inch chopped
Green Chillies : As much as you like but one is good if you want mildly hot
Onion : 1 medium size chopped
Capsicum : 1 medium size
Lauki/Bottle Gourd : 1 small size chopped
Milk : 1/2 Cup
Cardamom : 2, pods removed and seeds crushed
Cinnamon : a little more than a pinch
Salt : As per taste

Red Chilli Powder : as per taste

Coriander Powder :  2 Tbsp
Garam Masala : 1 Tsp
Jeera : 1 Tsp
Kasuri (Dried) Meethi Leaves : 1 Tbsp
Coriander Leaves for garnishing


Method :
1. Boil lauki / bottle gourd in minimal water. Since we need very less water and don’t want to lose the nutrient packed stock, so keep it as little as possible. Add a bit of salt while boiling.
2. Lightly roast capsicum on gas stove and keep aside.

3. In a wok, add olive oil  and jeera. When jeera sputters, add  green chilies, ginger and garlic. When garlic turns brown, lower the flame and add onions. Saute onions till they become light brown. Don’t
caramelize them.

4. Now add all the dry masalas except for garam masala and kasuri meethi.

 5. Add a little lauki stock to prevent masalas from sticking in the wok.

6. Now add the boiled lauki and chopped roasted capsicum. Add some lauki stock and cook for 3-4 minutes till all the masala comes together.

7. Switch off the flame and let it cool down for few minutes.

8. Puree this masala along with milk in a mixer/blender. Blend on high speed till you get a sauce like consistency.

9. Put this sauce back in wok and cook for 5 mins on low flame. Now add paneer cubes,
garam masala and kasuri methi. Cook for couple of more minutes.

10. Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot.


Lauki Paneer


And those who have tried it or plan on trying it, do come back and share your experience and result in the comments on this post. Would be much appreciated, Thanks.


Hibiscus Tea – Red Beauty from WinGreens

I love my teas and especially the long leave and flowers ones.  I recently picked up a pack of Wingreen’s green tea with hibiscus flowers. Wingreens is a social initiative to uplift the women of Mewat, Haryana. It has a huge range of potted herbs, teas, dips and lot more grown processed and sold by the women of this village.
The Red Beauty
Hibiscus is a bright red flower and has a sour flavour. In fact the sour tea in Iran is actually hibiscus tea. I loved the tangy and berry like flavour of the tea. The mix of bitterness of the green tea with the sourness of the hibiscus lend a very smooth and balanced flavour. 
You might like to add sugar or honey to it but I like mine minus any sweet things added to it. The pack of 65 grams is for 300 bucks and might seem expensive for the quantity but couple of leaves and a petal of flower is enough for a strong cup of tea though the pack mentions 1 spoon per cup.
Tea Leaves and Flower Petals
Also it was a very beautiful sight of red colour of flowers getting mixed with water when I left to brew it for couple of minutes. The taste, the sight and the aroma were extremely refreshing. In fact I was quite kicked about the tangy after taste. 
Hibiscus tea boasts of various health benefits which I am not sure about I will surely have this one again for a it’s freshness and unique flavour.
The sight itself is worth a million bucks.
Now I am  super excited to try an iced hibiscus green tea!!
And please use a glass mug or cup to drink this red beauty!
PS : Picked it from Gourmet Store in Hauz Khas Main Market.

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Rasmalai Demystified – How to make Rasmalai at home?

Rasmalai is one of the most loved and popular Indian Desserts, yet it is the least made dessert at homes and easily bought from shops for the sheer fact because we think it is some rocket science to make Rasmalai at home!
Time to change that belief and make super awesome beauty at our homes – it is super easy but requires lot of patience!!
  • Milk – Full Fat  2 litres
  • Alum/Phitkari –  1 tsp
  • Baking Powder -1 tsp
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
  • Saffron – 10-12 strands
  • Kevra Water – 1 tsp
  • Silver Varq/Foil -15
  • Almonds – 15-120 sliced
  • Pistachio – 15-20 sliced

  1. Boil 1 litre full fat milk and add 1 teaspoon
    phitkari or alum. When the milk starts to curdle adds one cup cold water.
    Strain through a thick cloth. 
  2. Transfer this paneer/cheena in a plate while it is still hot and add
    1teaspoon baking powder. 
  3. Make 15 equal dumplings and set them aside. Be careful there should be no
  4. Boil 3 cups of water and add 2 cups of sugar. Let it cook for 10 mins on
    high flame. Then put the dumplings in this boiling sugar syrup on medium flame
    for 15 mins. 
  5. Remove the dumplings and reduce the sugar syrup further till it becomes 1
  6. In a separate pan boil 1 litre milk with the reduced sugar syrup. Add
    cardamom powder, saffron and kevra water. Reduce this to your desired
    consistency. Add dumplings. Let it cool. 
  7. Garnish with silver varq, almonds and pistachio.
Homemade Rasmalai


Eatopian Delights Chai Box – Very Interesting Concept

Eatopia approached me asking me to try out and review their product. By the name of it, the horrible food court at India Habitat Center came to my mind, and the first reaction I had was of repulsion. However their representative was quick to point out that they have nothing to do with the food court however they are a Mumbai based entity which sells food boxes online. They told me about couple of boxes that they are doing these days and the Eatpoian Delights Chai Box caught my fancy. While I was away #FoodTippin’ in the Himalayas, a box got delivered to my doorstep for me to savor and cherish.

First look was quite disheartening, the box was crumbling, the cookies inside were not in a very good shape, overall a very unpleasant experiences. However then there was a huge benefit of doubt that this was coming all the way from Mumbai and its not too easy to the packaging right for food in any form to travel such long distances, that too by individual boxes.

The box had : 

– Chilli Chai from Tea trunk
– One sample each of Ginger Root and Lemon Green Tea
– Jeera Butter Cookies from an un-named bakery on Bazaar Road in Mumbai.
– Sesame & Semolina Cookies from the same Bazaar road bakery.
– Coconut Macaroons from an Old Iranian Bakery. 
The cost of the box was Rs.699 which might seem a bit steep, however with the tea box itself worth Rs.350 I would not mind paying that amount for the box. Why would I not mind? Because the tea was an absolute delight, a masala chai added with some Chilli, just gave it the right kick and made it hit the right spot time after time. The quality of all the three types of cookies was absolutely delightful. And given how melt in the mouth types they were, I was not surprised that they crumbled a bit in transportation.

My 2 cents on this box : Improve the packaging, I know its tough, but they got to do it and I would love to have a bit more of those cookies. I know I can order them in a different box, however I would have appreciated just a bit more in this box itself.
Oh and did I tell you about the cute little cutting chai glass that was included in the box? For a sadakchaap like me, its happiness re-defined. Now I am waiting for them rains to pour, so that I can brew that that Chilli Chai, sip it from my cutting glass and order some piping hot samosas while I sit back and let my mind romance the feeling that life is…

The Oriental Saucy Affair – By Anuradha Gupta

Have you ever wondered while ordering your meal in an oriental restaurant that how Tofu in Hunan sauce is going to taste different from Tofu in Hoisin sauce? Do you often seek help from the servers in the restaurants to explain you better how a dish would taste? Well Oriental food is extremely diverse and rich in terms of flavours ranging from piquant, salty to sharply pungent. I am compiling a list of some classic sauces found in the most menus of the oriental restaurants! Having an idea about the taste profile of these sauces will definitely help you in experimenting next time you decide to have a Chinese, Thai or Indonesian meal in a restaurant or while cooking at home.  

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a dark, reddish-brown, thick sauce and is often referred to as Chinese barbecue sauce, not because it has a similar flavor, but because it is used for a variety of purposes, similar to American barbecue sauce. Hoisin sauce itself contains no seafood but it is used in a variety of seafood dishes. It has a balanced mix of salty, sweet, and tangy, with a hint of spicy heat. It is is made with soybean paste, garlic, chilies, vinegar, and sugar. A starchy ingredient, such as sweet potato, wheat, or rice, is also used to create the glossy, thick consistency of the sauce. 

Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a thick, brown sauce with a sweet, salty, and earthy flavor. It is a popular ingredient in Vietnamese, Thai, and Cantonese cuisine. This thick, flavorful sauce is full of umami, which gives any recipe it’s added to extra oomph. Traditionally, oyster sauce is made by slowly simmering oysters in water until the juices caramelize into a thick, brown, intensely flavorful sauce however these days it is usually made with a base of sugar and salt and thickened with corn starch. So you might be ordering Stir fry vegetables in oyster sauce thinking it is a vegetarian dish but it is always a good idea to ask the chef which version of oyster sauce is being used!
Miso Sauce
Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans or other grains like rice or barley. Each miso variety will vary depending on the grains that have been fermented, the type of bacterial or fungal culture used for fermentation, and the length of time the mixture is allowed to culture. 
White Miso: This miso is made from soybeans that have been fermented with a large percentage of rice. The actual resulting color can range from white to light beige, and the miso has a definite sweet taste. It’s best used in condiments like mayo or salad dressings, or in light sauces.
Yellow Miso: Yellow miso is usually made from soybeans that have been fermented with barley and sometimes a small percentage of rice. It can be yellow to light brown in color. This miso has a mild, earthy flavor and is better for general use in not only condiments, but soup, marinades, and glazes.
Red Miso: This is also typically made from soybeans fermented with barley or other grains, though with a higher percentage of soybeans and/or a longer fermentation period. It can range in color from red to dark brown. The deep umami flavor of red miso can overwhelm mild dishes, but is perfect for hearty soups, braises, and glazes.
Black Miso: Some sources say this paste is made entirely from soybeans, others say that it’s made from soybeans fermented with hearty dark grains like buckwheat. Regardless, this sounds like the strongest flavored miso around. The depth of color with any particular miso can also tell you something about it’s flavor. Generally speaking, the darker the color, the longer it’s been fermented and the stronger it will taste. 
Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a thin, salty liquid that is used in place of salt as a seasoning in many Asian recipes. It smells pungent and tastes very salty, although cooking greatly reduces its ‘fishiness’ and simply adds a richness and a layer of flavour to cooked dishes. The longer the fish are fermented, the less fishy tasting the resulting sauce. Cheap, quickly fermented fish sauces will have a fairly strong fish flavor while ones that have been aged for a year or more develop an almost nutty flavor similar to parmesan cheese. (Both fish sauce and parmesan are high in glutamates, giving them a similar umami flavor.) Fish sauce is used almost like salt or soy sauce in many dishes. It is used to season stir-fries, curries, and noodle dishes. It adds depth to marinades, and makes a great dipping sauce when mixed with garlic, chili peppers, lime juice, and sugar. Although it smells incredibly strong, fish sauce blends well with other flavors in these dishes, enhancing and bringing them together without overwhelming them.
Black Bean Sauce
This is a sauce made from fermented, salt-preserved soya beans and has a subtle, deeply savoury taste. The soya beans used in blackbean sauce may be black or yellow; the sauce’s colour is a result of the beans becoming dark due to the enzymes released when they are dried at high temperatures during the fermentation process. Not a good idea to try it if you don’t like sharp and pungent flavours.
Hunan Sauce and Szechuan Sauce
Both are made using lots deal of chillies, onions and garlic. Hunan however, is generally hotter in flavor than the szechuan sauce which is a result of good mix of sweet and spicy. While hunan is oiler and hotter than the szechuan sauce. Szechuan has a tingling, numbing spiciness, instead of straight heat.
Plum Sauce
Plum sauce is a viscous, light brown sweet and sour condiment. It is used as dip for deep-fried dishes, such as spring rolls, egg rolls, noodles, and deep-fried chicken balls as well as for roast duck. It is made from sweet plums or other fruit such as peach, pineapple or apricot, along with sugar, vinegar, salt, ginger and chili peppers. This sauce is full of flavor. It’s tangy, salty, spicy! Duck sauce, a.k.a. plum sauce, is actually an American invention and found in literally every American-Chinese restaurant. 
XO Sauce
XO sauce is a spicy seafood sauce that originated from Hong Kong. XO sauce is made of roughly chopped dried seafoods, including scallops, dried fish and shrimp, and subsequently cooked with chili peppers, onions, and garlic.
Written by Anuradha Gupta