Almost every friend of mine knows about the deep and abiding love I have for my cup of chai. I even wrote a post about Indian monsoon and chai, complete with a step-wise recipe, pictures, etc.
I like chai the way I make it. So, I am not an addict because it needs to be made very specifically, else I can pass on it. I like my cup of chai made with cow’s milk, two tiny spoons worth of turbinado sugar, grated fresh ginger (organic, Peruvian), fresh mint, tea masala. Not meaning to sound like a snob at all, but a little care and fancy ingredients go a long way when it comes to brewing the perfect sweet, spicy and warm cuppa. Ahh, I am a bad “tea snob” because I didn’t even mention the brand of tea I use. It is Wagh Bakri (translated as “Lion Goat”). Wonder what the logic behind the name is. You can find Wagh Bakri tea in Indian homes and grocery stores.
I loved, loved, loved my evening cup of chai so darned much that I’d morph into an impatient driver each evening as I drove home from work. I’d avoid making a stop anywhere, for anything. The only one thing in my mind was chai. It wasn’t as desperate as I am making it out to be, but I am somewhat close. Not lying at all.
You see, it wasn’t about the chai entirely. It was about the warm, spicy and sweet interplay of flavors. It was about my favorite books lying around the breakfast table that accompanied my quiet time. It was about looking out the window at our wild and lovely backyard, savoring the sunlight streaming in, drinking in my moment of zen (and also the moment I inwardly thanked our childless state).
Lately, I had been wondering if dairy consumption was linked with arthritis and other joint issues. There is published research that supports this viewpoint. I suffer from “creaky” joints, and I feared if they were a precursor to some sort of arthritis. I loved my chai so much; I could give up all dairy if I could stick to that one cup a day. But my doctor suggested that I do a little experiment to verify the facts: Stay off dairy for three months.
So I steeled myself to remove dairy from my life. Cue “mournful expression.”
Well, I am here to tell you that it has been very painless thus far. I have begun making chai with coconut milk, and it works. For me, it does. I haven’t been missing my kind of chai at all. It’s been about ten days, and I think this experiment is going swimmingly well.
What does this mean? Well, if I have the opportunity to partake of a stellar cup of chai (Mumbai Masala, Global Mall does it my style), I will take advantage of it. As for desserts, I am going to play it by ear. Desserts don’t feature often in my life, and if/when a particularly good one comes along, I might indulge myself.
For me, the biggest miracle (my husband doesn’t think it’s anything big) is freeing myself, or realizing that I was always free, of my love (bondage) for chai.
I am free. Perhaps, I always was.