Aromatic and different - the “Masala Chai” from Kerala!

(Image credit: applemint.com)

The weather at home was ever-changing. One moment it rained and the next moment, the sun shone. It was sweltering during the day, chilly during the night. As my body tried to accommodate itself according to the weather changes, the inevitable happened. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling hot and cold at the same time, as well as a stuffy, blocked nose. “Darn it!” I thought. “I have a cold!”

I spent my day in bed with a hot water bottle and tissues. Colds really are annoying, and they refuse to leave before they’ve completed their merriment inside our poor noses. So until it left me, I had to do all I could to make myself feel better. I went to the kitchen, gathered a few things that were necessary to make this and then proceeded to make, what I feel, is the best beverage I’ve ever tasted.

Masala tea is fairly simple to make, has the amazing taste of spices and the soothing effect of tea. All you need is a little bit of mint, a few stalks of lemon-grass, some chai masala (tea masala, easily available in the market), some ginger and milk and sugar. I started with my mission of making myself a cup of perfect masala tea.

To begin with, I boiled, with two cups of water, two stalks of lemon-grass, about five mint leaves, and two spoonful of sugar. After that was done, I simmered the preparation for about six minutes until it gave off the aroma and the water content had reduced to half of its original quantity. I then added half a spoonful of tea masala to the preparation and brought it to a boil, again. I then added a cup of milk to the tea and simmered the liquid for five minutes. Now all that was left was the straining, and my tea was ready. As I strained my masala tea into the kettle I could almost see the aroma of the spices rising out of the chai. I went back to bed with my masala tea, which was just what I needed to soothe me and make me feel better from this dratted cold!

Outside, it had started to drizzle. As I sipped at my perfectly healthy yet tasty tea, my mind wandered back to where I had had the tea for the first time. Munnar, a hill-station in Kerala, was a pleasantly cold, hauntingly beautiful place with tea plantations all around. Masala tea was very popular here and the local shops thrived on the sale of masala tea powder. Tourists were flocking at a small tea stall, and I joined them to see what the fuss was all about. As I drank the aromatic liquid from a paper “Power Rangers’” cup, I decided to have this drink as much as I could. I have lost count of the number of cups of masala tea that I had during my entire stay, and the friendly representatives from Kerala Travel Centre, who had planned my holiday, very sweetly took me to the best tea-stalls in each region that made and sold the best masala tea.

Masala tea was such a small yet significant memory of my tour to Kerala that I could not resist but make it as much as I could back home. To know more about Munnar, where I had it first, click here. To know more about tours to Kerala planned by Kerala Travel Centre, please click here. Visit www.keralatravelcentre.com or call on Freephone 0808 178 9799 to talk to one of our Kerala experts today!