Saturday, September 08, 2012

Tea time

Tea is one of my favorite drinks. Back home we drink tea all day long. When you pay a visit to a household you'd be asked 'would you like some tea?' The tea is usually milky and sugary. Hot tea and snacks such as warm vadais (lentil doughnuts/fritters), Marie biscuit, mixture (a spicy mix of fried lentil flour thins, and nuts) or cake. In my home we drank coffee in the morning. Everything from roasting the beans to grinding is done by hand. No one had coffee grinders like in the US and the beans are pounded in a pounding stone.  We roasted small batches and made coffee powder.

Tea grows in abundance in Sri Lanka and it is where the world's largest tea auction takes place. We drank pure black tea - decaf tea was unheard of. We boiled the milk before adding it into the tea. The milk came from a farmer in the neighbor hood. We would then add a spoonful of sugar and enjoy the tea on the steps of our courtyard or in the kitchen depending our mood. Amma would make the tea less hot and frothy by pouring it back and forth from a great height between two cups. 

Currently I am addicted to the sweet spiciness of masala chai which I make from scratch. Straus milk and good aromatic spices are the two key things for making good chai. Hot and spicy vadais are must with a good cuppa chai.