'Tandoori chai', which became popular during the last few years, is attracting huge numbers of tea lovers with its unique variety of flavours - available in different tea stalls and cafes of Islamabad.
Available in flavours including Ginger, Cinnamon, Shahi, Shanshahi, Qalandari, Karak and Dabang Tandoori chai, tea lovers have been crowding stalls after the two-day rain spell which turned the weather cold.
Asad Amir, a frequent visitor of one of the most popular Tandoori tea stalls in F-7 Markaz said, "Visiting this tea stall open air with my friends is always a fun [time] and we all enjoy flavoured Tandoori Chai here during gossips".
He said, "I can't resist the aroma of [the] flavoured `Tandoori Chai' while going through this place and always sit here and enjoy hustle and bustle of this market, nice ambience and music available, at this stall specially".
How is it made
The recipe of `Tandoori Chai' available here is unique. A young boy at the stall heats up small clay pots in a pre-heated tandoor (clay oven) and then pours the tea on to the heated pot. He does this until it breaks and the smoky aroma and taste of the broken clay pot is infused into the tea.
Winter is also a popular season for chicken corn soup, Gajar Ka halwa (carrot dessert), fish, dry fruits and many other items, Tandoori chai has become the most in demand.
Amina Farrukh, a young customer at the stall, said, "Having tea frequently has become a tradition for most of the people especially in winter and for me it's not merely a tradition but an addiction".
She added, "I took it in a funny way when [I] heard about `Tandoori Chai', [named] after Tandoori chicken and Tandoori roti but when I tried [it], I found it awesome", she said.
"Tandoori Chai' presented in a traditional mud cup revive the natural village life especially when it is poured into a mud cup which gives a feeling of village's soil," she said. "It is [a] fact that we cannot separate our present from our past. Our urge for the traditional clay pot tea reflect our association and a strong bond with the old clay utensils", the girl added.
Even cooking food in clay utensils is again in vogue these days and most of the people keep clay handi in their homes to cook and get a better taste and texture of food, Amina said.
Research reveals that the tea is the second largest drink consumed by the people on the earth and it is originated in Southwest China where it was used as a medicinal drink. Black tea, spiced tea, green tea, Gur Ki Chai, Kashmiri tea and Doodh Patti are the varieties liked by most people in Pakistan.