Any time is tea time in India. We, Indians are ready for a cuppa anytime of the day. I still remember the days when my Granny used to ask for tea, everyone in the family agreed to it and asked for a small cup each. This shows our undying love for Chai/ tea.
Tea in India, only gained popularity as a national beverage in the 19th century after the British began to create large scale tea plantations in order to ensure adequate supplies for their country’s growing thirst. India is one of the world’s largest suppliers of tea, and yet because of this very recent history, tea has not had time to appropriate any elaborate tea rituals like in Japan or China. Although not ritualized, tea is more a part of everyday life at home, work, on the streets and while traveling.
Chai is the preferred style of tea sold on the streets, at railway stations and at cafes. Chai is strong black tea, spiced with cardamom, fennel, cloves or other spices, sweetened with sugar and mixed with milk for a sweet and creamy beverage that many Westerners would know as Chai tea. This tea is often enjoyed with a savory snack like samosas or biscuits or rusk. Usually street vendors or train stations will sell this tea in small clay cups that are only used once, and then smashed after use. Whether enjoyed on the street or at home, Chai provides respite from the heat or weariness from travel or work.
Chai Di Party at Eros Hotel, New Delhi celebrates this tradition of having tea anytime of the day, whether we are alone or socializing with friends and family. Chai Di Party aka CDP is a great concept through which we got a chance to savour the most flavorful masala tea or Ghar ki Chaias they are calling it with a serving of Fan (light filo pastry) and cookies.
Chef Nikhil Rastogi has come up with great variations in the snacks which are part of the festival. The ever so popular Samosais stuffed with mawa, green peas and raisins which give out an awesome flavor. The most innovative was the Jalebi Chaat; yes you read it right Jalebi ki Chaat. We also liked the drinks like the Jamun Thanda which is an awesome concoction of dried berries and is highly recommended. The Bhajia and the Stuffed Mirch Pakoras with Dhokla ni Dhokla needs to be savoured too.
Without doubt, I can say that CDP is a beautiful concept and should continue forever as it gives everyone a chance to socialize with friends, family and also business contacts over a cup of chai and snacks.
Price: INR 250 + taxes each