Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yummylicious! : Masala lemon tea

Sitting down with a moment to spare.. beginnings of a sense of relief. Comes with watching things fall into place.. a sense of regret too. From letting go of chaos that gets you thriving. (A feeling  familiar only to the hormonal, toddlers and  women).
I have finally a moment to dedicate to some randomness. Let me do something I've been thinking of doing for a set of fellow bloggers whom have  managed to get me heavily addicted. 

I hope the chosen ones are listening,  Archana, Prashant, Sas, Vineeta, Shireena, Masala chai, Chamki, Hermit, Udder- all on my `daily fix' list on the blog.  Lovers of chai,  blessed with an middling to obsessive addiction to the brew or not,  these guys churn out fare I am definitely addicted to by now...

To all of them and more I hereby share my own favourite recipe for chai...
It is a recipe for lemon tea,  with a very desi twist to it. If you have never tried brewing your cuppa like this, go ahead and give it a shot and bless me with every ooh and ah of relish that subsequently issues forth your lips, and if you have tried it already go right ahead and make yourself a cup all the same and bless me with every oh an ah... etcetera etcetera..

Masala Nimbu chai

Makes 5 cups


water -6 cups

Lime juice - from two whole limes. I prefer the Indian/ Thai varieties.

Ginger - 2 inch piece, crushed

choti elaichi (cardamom)- 3-4, crushed

Jeera ( cumin seeds) - 3 tsp

Saunf ( fennel seeds) - 3tsp

fresh mint leaves - 5-6

other optionals:

Pepper corns- 3-4

Szechwan pepper/ Timur - 3-4

Saunth- 1 pinch 

Tulsi patta (Indian basil)- 4-5

(the latter are only for those with a stomach for timur and saunth)

Honey - 1/2 cup

Sugar (to taste)/ (optional)

Tea leaves -1 to 2  tsp/1- 2  tea bags ( prefer Lipton yellow label)


Boil the water with elaichi, jeera, saunf and ginger. Add one or more of saunth, pepper and Szechwan pepper  if you care for them. When the decoction is bubbling profusely, and starting to change colour, squeeze in the lime juice and add tea leaves/bag. Shut off the flame. Add mint leaves and tulsi patta and steep the brew for a minute or two.

Add the honey and sugar and adjust the sweetness/ tartness as desired.

Strain and serve hot or chilled.

NB : Not that it matters too much, but the nimbu chai is great for coughs, colds, chills and sundry other digestive ailments and such like too..



Monday, April 7, 2008


I am exhausted... absolutely done in...  and miserable too. Moved homes last week.  The house is a textbook case in mess. It is not the mess that is bothering me neither the effort and time taken in the process, but the fact that this is the fifth time in the past eight years we've pitched tent and I've had it...

Sifting through piles of belongings, rubbish and dust for three days and I finally threw up my arms in utter revolt.  Again my objection is just not to the physical move as it is to the impermanence of things ...  to owning and possessing .. 

( I am aware i might not be making sense here, simply rambling... that's the way it is.. I am too exhausted to  edit and  rewrite the post.)

A few days ago sitting from where, i took a break,  doodling on  the floor coated with paint dust from a freshly painted wall-  the  set of Burmese lacquer inherited from my grandmother did not feel as dear...The piles of textile collected over the year,s  an encumbrance more than treasure, Loved and prided scraps  of my child's art work, like accumulated junk-  it  occurred to me that something was very wrong with the whole project... carefully accumulated objects and `things'  that in the normal course of things ought to have been a source of joy, or a reflection  of `taste' and `expression' as a lot of  design and art literature peddles, is just that an idea... not an extension of self. 
The `self ' attaches  to a whole lot of things that are just as changeable and fickle as itself.  It comes nowhere close to what `I' the way as I know me and the way as I do not know me, stands for..

The moral of this convoluted rant isn't that it is somehow foolish to like things and accumulate, just  that  there isn't mush point in attaching too much value, deriving sense of identification from them.  A physical space can be adorned to reflect peace and stillness, but  there is not much to it if the mental sphere lacks quite...  

It maybe that in a day or two, when the dust settles down, the art work is no longer strewn on the floor, the books are back on the shelves and corrugated board is a thing of memory, I'll have time to ruminate over colour form shape and texture again,   trivia shall take over  time and senses, but right now I cannot seem to get beyond the dust, sweat and muck around me...

Untill I get to the stage where  i am thankful to the set of circumstances that has led me here, just like the deaths, heartbreaks and dust of the past.... Untill I can look back and be thankful for today's chaos that will set me forward  tomorow...signing off.


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