We have chai running in our veins or certainly should have as it has been a family passion for generations.
I grew up in the Midlands in the heart of a close-knit British-Asian community where food was always at the heart of every family gathering. Whether cooking up fresh delicious dal, sharing homemade samosas at the numerous social gatherings, or watching the latest Bollywood blockbuster on the telly whilst sipping on a steaming cup of chai.
Chai is the Hindustani word for tea and in India chaiwalas, or street sellers, line the streets with their spicy and sweet aromatic milky tea. My grandparents are from Kuranpur a small rural village in Ahmadnagar district, Maharashtra state where Bombay, now called Mumbai, is the capital. When I was young, I remember my grandmother telling me that there were no roadside chaiwalas where she grew up because there were no real roads in the remote village they lived in. People made their masala or spicy chai at home and would drink it together as a family around the dinner table.
Sadly, my grandparents are no longer around but our heritage and family traditions are really important and connected to me like an invisible thread. I have yet to go to Kuranpur but how better to keep my grandmothers spirit alive by telling our family’s story and brewing her not so secret spiced Bombay chai recipe.
Dominic, Co-Founder & Director