The temperatures dropped to the fifties all of a sudden in October and the coffee aficionado in me found herself longing for a cup of chai for a change, laughing internally at the memory of landing in the United States three years ago and discovering a curious beverage in this land of dreams and constant flux, 14,000 miles away from home. The hot beverage was called ‘chai tea’. Chai-tea is quite a rage in the US even in 2018, yet, I have never quite found in a glass of chai-tea – with or without latte – the flavours of India.
Recently, however, I was at India Restaurant, Providence, on a day that was particularly cold, with rough winds shaking the delicate leaves and drying branches lining the roads. I ordered for ginger chai and this write-up is, indeed, an ode to that cup of goodness.
Ginger chai is fairly simple to make but I think the trick lies in knowing how long one needs to brew the leaves and the ginger in water to extract the right essences from the two key ingredients as well as pounding fresh ginger in every cup. The lightly sweetened chai that I had in India Restaurant was just perfect for a long, cold day in autumn.
Ginger chai has a wealth of health benefits. I remember my grandmother telling me about ginger tea being used as an anti-inflammatory potion in many Indian households because of the distinct property of ginger to bring relief to aching muscles and swollen joints. This cup of goodness is also known to cure nausea, alleviate menstrual cramps, and help with common cold and other minor respiratory problems. On that evening in October in Providence the big cup of ginger chai from India Restaurant definitely had an instant effect on my blocked nose and numbed senses, rejuvenating me immediately.
If you find yourself driving down Hope Street of the capital city of America’s small Ocean State in the bitterly cold days to come, make it a point to stop at India Restaurant for a cup of simmering goodness. The ginger chai will help you feel fresh, magically weaning away the stress from your body with every sip. India will also happily make you fresh to order chai with coconut milk, making it vegan.
by: Somrita Urni Ganguly