Despite a plethora of drink options in Pakistan, tea remains to be the most popular. Tea is enjoyed in urban and rural areas, not in the least because it is the national drink of Pakistan.
Chai means tea and the spiced chai we Westerners know is called marsala chai and is originally from India by way of China. Then when the British tried it in India the took it with them wherever they went and that includes Pakistan.
We have made chai before here when we ‘travelled’ to India, but this one is a little different and honestly I think I prefer it.
The recipe I followed can be found at TeaForTumeric.com
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp (or 2 black teabags) loose tea-leaves (this was THE HARDEST ingredient to find! Plain black tea is what you need, so make sure it doesn’t have orange or other flavors added)
- a pinch of cardamom powder (optional)
- sweetener, to taste
Place water in a saucepan over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add tea-leaves or tea bag and cardamom. Reduce the heat to medium and gently allow this to simmer for a minute or two.
Add the milk and raise the heat back to high.
As it begins to boil, the chai will rise in the saucepan. Remove the pan from heat before it reaches the top of the saucepan. Do this a few times to really develop the flavor while using a ladle to scoop and pour back the chai. Alternately, once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and allow it to simmer to desired strength (~3-5 minutes).
Pour this chai through a small sieve into your favorite cups and sweeten using sugar or honey.
As one of the main agricultural exports of Pakistan, simply eating a mango gives you a taste of Pakistan.
So that is what we did, we bought whole mangoes, cut them up and enjoyed 🙂 Thankfully my Australian sister-in-law taught me how to cut a mango years ago, but if you don’t know here’s how:
There is a giant pit in the center so you are going to cut the sides off.
Hold the mango up, resting where the stem was on the cutting board. The oval should be tall looking down, cut the sides off the mango leaving the center for now.
Hold the mango slice in your hand flesh side up, and CAREFULLY score the fruit in a grid cutting down to but not through the skin. Once cut, bend the skin and this will cause the scored mango to invert and pop out making the cubes easier to eat.
Repeat with the other side.
The center porton gets messy but you can use a knife to peel off the skin then suck on the mango around the pit. The juice will run down your arm and yes it is worth it!
I have loved learning about Pakistan this week and I can’t wait to see what Martin picks next week!