Chai is Tea in Pakistan
This spring Lake Missoula Tea Company highlights global tea cultures. This fits nicely with Zenith Khan’s (with Lake Missoula Tea Company) visit to Pakistan:
Lok Virsa is an establishment within the capital city of Islamabad that focuses on preserving and promoting cultural and traditional folk heritage. It consists of various small shops that carry a variety of artwork, handicrafts, clothing and food. There are a number of small museums, performance stages and gardens throughout the area for people to enjoy. A small outdoor restaurant sits just behind a set of shops which particularly caught my eye. All of the cooking and food preparation is done outside in front of passersby. The seating consists of two charpais (woven bed frames) per table. Charpais are a very traditional type of bed that are still used today, mostly in villages, and are a popular choice because of how cheap and easy to transport they are.
After ordering a hearty meal of flat bread (or roti) and spinach with mustard seed, we ordered two cups of their chai. Our decision was made easy by the fact that this was the only tea they served. This type of chai was a doodh pati chai which is the standard black tea with milk and sugar that’s cooked over a fire. The tea was served in small ceramic bowls (approximately 6oz) alongside two kinds of sugar: granulated white sugar and the cane sugar known as gur (or jaggery). Despite the restaurant being very lowkey and almost rundown, this tea was some of the best I’d had yet. It completely embodied the taste, smell and essence of a traditional Pakistani doodh pati chai. The tea had a very creamy body to it, thanks to the fresh full cream milk they use. It also had the particular taste of just the right amount of cardamom, which adds warmth and a little depth of flavor. To top it all off, a cup of tea cost 25 cents.
Previous Post | Next Post