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Our addiction/dependence on chai

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    Our addiction/dependence on chai

    hmmmm..lets see...

    You go over to your freind's house - heck, any desi house - what is the first thing they scream out? Thandah ya Garam or sometimes they just take the liberty making decision for us by putting up a straight forward question: chai challey gi.

    I used to drink chai in the morning. On weekends during my college years, I used to work the graveyard shift and drank orange juice in the morning. But ever since I came back from Pakistan, and since I started spening more leisure time with desi freinds, I have grown to be addicted on chai. I must have chai in the morning and must have it in the evening. And it must be made a certain way, with a right mixture of milk and water. Its almost like a delicate balance of water and milk, with very little room for leverage.

    Isn;t it amazing how we're prone to drink chai at every family gathering. The host, sometimes without consulting with the guest, make a pot load of chai to be circulated among the guests while we all bash the paki gov't, politics and america.

    Chai is almost like a cultural identity for us. Coffee is yet to make into the mainstream of paki casual drinking culture. I can walk into any desi restaurant or friend's house and safely ask for a shot of chai.

    Chai ko chahiye eik umr asar hone tak!!


      Do Pakistanis drink coffee? Do they grow any coffee in Pakistan. It's said that coffee origininated in India and was taken to Latin America (Columbia and Brazil). In India, Tea (Chai) is more popular in North India. In South India (states south of the Vindhyas - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) coffee is the popular beverage. In fact India is planning to export Indian coffee to US. It's different from the coffee available in US. I think it's much better. But that's my opinion.


        The way coffee is made in India, with those filters and all is way different from usual ways of coffe making.

        I do not think Pak grows coffee. But there have been some attempts of growing tea.


          Dudh Patee is the best.

          Dear Ghalib,

          are you familiar with different kinds of chai. On highways, the chai comes in different strengths as classified by truck drivers. 100 mile chai is a lot weaker than the 200 mile chai. The idea for strong chai is to keep the driver from not falling asleep for at least 200 miles. After a joint of charas, one can easily "oungh" on the steering wheel. I like my chai strong. Hold on on too much "mitha". Just a little sugar.


            Ahmadhi Mian:

            yaar...sniff a joint and drive for 1000 miles. Works for me everytime..


              Ghalib Yar,

              1000 miles is a lot of distance to go without a J. I like to have one every 100 miles.


                Ahmadhi Mian:

                Its people like you who give rest of us the bad name. You start taking the hits every 100 miles, ie less than 2 hours, and start OD'ing while driving. When you take a hit next time after only 100 miles, remmeber that I am also on the same road, though 900 mile sober. Have some respect for my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                  My brother. 100 Nautical miles that is. I am a naughty kinda guy!!


                    I have to have my cuppa after dinner…otherwise khana hazim nahien hotha…

                    I always thought chai was a centuries old tradition. However, I heard from my dada je that chai was brought by the British. My perdada je told stories of the British giving out free tealeaves in order to begin the market.


                      Here is history of chai in Kashmir (from greaterkashmir website)

                      History of Shir Chai (Salt Tea)

                      Iqbal Ahmad

                      The Kashmiris, like other people, have lost most of their traditions and adopted new
                      ones in their place. They developed new customs and new tastes but still there are some peculiar traditions alive in our society. We prefer rice instead of bread. The staple food of Kashmiris is rice and Shir chai is liked and relished by them. The Shir Chai (Salt Tea) is added with milk. Kahwa (Sugar Tea) is not always mixed with milk. Earlier the Kashmiris would make the tea in a Samavar. Previously the cooked rice and tea were served in earthenware plates and cups but nowadays these have been replaced by a variety of copper and Chineseware. The boiled rice and Shir Chai (Salt Tea) are Kashmir’s food culture. Kahwa (Sugar Tea) is however served only at special occasions.

                      Maximum Kashmiris are fond of Shir Chai (Salt Tea). The women serve their families
                      with this tea. It is usually served two times daily in the routine matter; it is being
                      served at mornings and afternoon. The process of preparing and serving of this tea is
                      centuries old.

                      History reveals that the people from Gobi desert upto Pir Panchal has a common
                      method for making and taking of tea. This pleasant beverage is said to have been
                      introduced in Kashmir by Mirza Haider Daughlat (popularly known here by the name of
                      Mira Kashgari) in about 15th century AD. China is believed to be the origin of tea
                      wherefrom it acquired world wide acceptance. The people of inner Asia use salt instead
                      of sugar in preparing it. The similar method is followed in Kashmir. During the
                      preparation addition of a little bicarbonate of Soda gives it a pink colour and whether
                      one takes it with roasted rice, wheat, maize flour (sotu) or some kind of bread, it tastes

                      Bakon Schonberg studying the habits of Kashmiri and Tibetan people says, "with the
                      inhabitants of Tibet, as well as with those of Kashmir tea is an article of daily use.

                      Despite heavy consumption of tea in Kashmir it was never produced here. History has it,
                      that tea was imported from China till late 19th century AD. The people who had no
                      purchasing power to buy tea used to employ yewbark and strawberry roots as a substitute for it and when cheaper Indian tea was imported via the Jhelum valley road, it
                      became accessible to almost every household. Some scholars believe that tea in Kashmir
                      was introduced by the traders who came into the state from across the pamirs. Knight, a
                      European traveler, who visited Ladakh in 1891 says, "In this ravine we met a caravan of
                      Tibetans who were on their way from Lhasa to Kashmir with a number of horses laden
                      with brick tea. This tea is not very palatable to Europeans but is held in high esteem by the Kashmiries for it costs two rupees or so a pound in a bazar at Srinagar whereas Indian tea can be purchased for a few annas a pound". It clearly indicated that Kashmiris preferred Chinese tea instead of Indian tea. The demand for this tea had been so that it was sold for two rupees per pound.

                      Baron Hugel, another traveler, on his visit to certain merchants in Srinagar found that
                      products of central Asia were spread before him. He saw thirty two packets of brick tea
                      brought from the interior of China through Aksu and Turfan.

                      However with the change in political boundaries the trade too changed its direction.

                      In post 1947 period the Chinese tea disappeared in Kashmir markets and instead hill tea from Kangra and Assam took its place. The tastes and habits of taking Shir Chai (Salt Tea) had not changed. The modern types of Lipton and coffee and other soft drinks could not replace the centuries old tradition of taking salt tea (Shir Tea).


                        hey who does not love chai
                        my house and my whole extended family are liek chai freaks. In teh morning tea, when everyone comes back frm work each person makes different types of tea. after dinner there's tea. If you go to any party there's chai. My family even takes milk and patti to the BBQ place in the park sometimes and they make tea on teh BBQ grill
                        im tellin u theyre chai freaks


                          Yaaro Chai is Chai

                          Aferall what would life be like without Chai

                          I absolutely love my chai
                          I have chai every hour on the weekends and would have it every hour during the week in the office if the tea here was any good.

                          It's quite normal really. I mean among the goray every time they get together they want to have a drink and for us desi's (as alcohol is not an option) we have our good old chai
                          As for coffee I can't stand it Ekh

                          Nice talking to you


                          [This message has been edited by Shabnam (edited May 19, 1999).]

                          [This message has been edited by Shabnam (edited May 19, 1999).]

                          [This message has been edited by Shabnam (edited May 19, 1999).]


                            and ghalib tarkha-ed me on coke instead of chai when I saw him a few weeks ago.. *sigh*
                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.



                              Wiffey said the same thing... pehli dafah milley or burger king ka flat coke pilla key taRkha diyaa..

                              yaar I know i wasn't a good host but with my son's fever, entertainment was the last thing on my head.....

                              we'll do it on a bigger scale next time with the nihari you owe me..