The emotions of street food have been an integral part of the Indian culture. Of the lot, the classic chai and pakoras have always taken center-stage. The unambiguity with which people say yes to a chai break says it all. It is hard to spot the exact moment but it is somewhere between the crunch and sip that one falls hopelessly in love with this simple food.
An outsider may see the atmosphere around chai shops as primitive and rustic. However, showcased seamlessly between the chai-stained tables and red-hot saucepans is the cultivation of ideas and thoughts of this multi-cultural spice loving country.
Created between the hustle and rush of daily life, the scrumptious taste of each bite of the pakora is irreplaceable. From the Punjabi chai stalls and famous Irani chai shops of Mumbai to the chai kada’s of Kerala, this soulful combination has conquered hearts across the nation. The core of this culinary unit is managed by the friendly and social chaiwallah.
This well-known yet simple venue serves as the hot-spot for current happenings. Hidden between the spread-out newspapers and hot vapor of tea are people from varied walks of life. A rushing commuter meeting a casual morning walker and a college student bumping into a daily wage worker are a few of the myriad encounters that happen. People patiently wait for their turn. It is at the heart of these worn-out old shops and their breath-taking traditional flavor that the splits of the community are truly bridged.
The simple yet deep emotions formed in street corners and niches remain unforgettable ones. Be it for significant meets or casual chats, the flavor of this traditional combo of tea and pakoras make us reminisce about the varied stages of lives. Through it all, what started as a delicious snack combination, has now become a lifestyle.
Our love affair with chai and pakoras is not going to come to an end anytime soon. Enjoy the simplicity of this classic combination in the monsoon.