Tea time — A time to eat and greet
What’s the best thing about an Indian evening? Tea time, what else! Who can refuse this guilty pleasure made of aromatic tea leaves/powder, a dollop of milk and a healthy dash of adrak? Most of us limit our tea for twice a day, once in the morning and another cuppa as the afternoon wears off. Others, however, believe in indulging wholeheartedly in this beloved beverage and have it no less than 4 times! Be that as it may, tea, particularly ginger tea, is the most basic and cherished drink for us Indians. It’s not just about the drink; it’s about the tradition of meeting and greeting over a cup of chai that makes it so special. And what makes it even more special is the variety of snacks that we tend to have with it! Listed below are some of the most favoured snacks that we Indians love nibbling on during tea time:
Samosa: There are not many in India, locals and otherwise, who don’t know about the samosa. This spicy fried pastry is a favourite even with kids! And when you eat it with the spicy green chutney or the sweet red one it usually comes with, you will find nirvana. More nirvana for you when you eat it with tea!
Pakora: Pakoras, the onion and potato varieties are so delicious it’s not funny. This fried fritter is perfect no matter what the season, but becomes all the more treasured during the rains and winter. Take a sip of tea and then take a bite of pakora and then quickly bite into a green chilli for the flavours to really hit you.
Aloo Bhujia: Available packaged, too, bhujia is this crispy snack that you will never get enough of. This snack originated in Bikaner and is made of gram flour (besan) and spices. No one can deny that aloo bhujia is a little bit of heaven on a plate during tea time.
Batata vada: Chai time takes on another meaning altogether when you put batata vada/vada pav in the equation. Arguably the most popular food in Mumbai, this stuffed ball of deliciousness, with or without the pav, is just the perfect companion for tea.
Fafda: Eat this crunchy stick of goodness with green chillies, or go the sweet way by eating it with some jalebis. No matter how you eat it, you will never forget it. Try dipping it in a cup of hot tea; the fafda gets a bit soggy but you can’t deny that it tastes wonderful.
Pohe: A snack made of flattened rice, a dish of pohe is a revered breakfast snack in most Mumbai households. A mixture of flattened rice, chillies, turmeric, onions and sometimes even potatoes and peanuts, pohe are best eaten hot with a hot cup of tea on the side.
Brun maska: This crunchy on the outside soft on the inside, hot toasted bun slathered with copious amounts of butter and sometimes even jam is a great favourite with the youth. Dip it in a cup of sweetened tea and taste the magic that emanates from it.
Who knew a simple beverage like tea could bring so much joy? Well, we all did! Now go on, take that tea break you’ve been thinking of all this while.