Chai is a religion in India, and we, the loyal devotees! So much so, that even the burning temperatures aren't a dealbreaker. A cup of chai is a dose of comfort, a honeypot for family banters, and a warm hug on sick days.
And if the image of a "kadak adrak waali chai" is enough to get your heart racing beyond measure, we are sure you'd love some interesting takes on this classic Indian hot drink. So, come along, as we take you through these 10 unusual chai variations!
1. Kesar Masala Chai
Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen
One of the most comforting versions of the staple chai, this delicious beverage comes with a subtle saffron flavour and enticing spices. The addition of kesar gives this chai a serene orange colour along with the ability to subdue symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as enhance healthy weight loss. It's a royal looking cup of tea, packed with relaxing aromas and an exotic taste.
2. Kashmiri Noon Chai
Image Courtesy: Chili to Choc
Here's a chai variation that comes with a creamy, buttery and rich flavour, and results in a pink concoction that looks and smells heavenly. A delicious chai variety originating from the stunning land of Kashmir, a cup of noon chai is nothing short of a milky dessert, packed with a comforting taste and texture.
3. Golden Turmeric Chai
Image Courtesy: Chalo
Lauded as one of the healthiest classic Indian chai, this golden turmeric tea boasts of several healing properties and is great for the body and the mind. One cup of golden turmeric chai is packed with some soothing, earthy and delicious flavours that strike a perfect balance between sweet and savoury. Besides, this tea is a godsend to those looking for ways to include more turmeric in their diet.
4. Sulaimani Chai
Image Courtesy: Cooking from Heart
Believed to have had Arab origins and popularisation in Kerala, Sulaimani chai is one of the most lip-smacking teas, that will give you a large cup of warmth in return. Peak summer or a freezing day, a cup of Sulaimani chai makes for the perfect accompaniment across all kinds of weather.
5. Adrak Pudina Chai
Image Courtesy: WhiskAffair
Now, this cup of chai goes beyond just being tasty and refreshing to sip on. Brimming with several herbal properties that range from reducing bloating, and promoting healthy digestion to enhancing your immunity and fighting cold and cough, this tangy tea deserves to be included in our daily tea rituals! Mint and ginger work together to create strong, intense and heavenly flavours to invigorate anybody pausing for a tea break.
6. Chocolate Chilli Chai
Image Courtesy: To Her Core
Calling all tea adventurers now! If you enjoy experimenting with unique flavours and perfecting a cup of chai with an unusual mix of ingredients, this chai recipe has to be on your radar. Combining the sweetness of chocolate with some spicy chilli powder makes for a quirky tea blend that's likely to be an instant hit with your friends.
7. Apple Cinnamon Chai
Image Courtesy: Buttered Side up
This is the perfect hot beverage to snuggle in bed with, on a crisp fall day. It also makes for a great beverage to top off your heavy lunches; regardless of the weather outside. The fruity flavour of the apples, when thrown into the mix of strong Indian spices like cardamom, leads to a decadent cup of tea full of subtle sweet tones and strong spicy aromas.
8. Gud Ginger Chai
Image Courtesy: Ministry of Curry
Swapping the commonly used white sugar in your tea with some classic Indian jaggery leaves you with an aromatic cup of chai that has a deep, earthy flavour. The numerous health benefits of gud are absolutely worth it as a long term practice. For an authentic cup of gud waali chai, it's highly recommended to try the iconic tea places in your city.
9. Caramel Chai Tea Latte
Image Courtesy: Tornadough Alli
Perfect as a late-afternoon cuppa, this chai variation comes with a caramel twist that makes for a steaming cup of tea. If you plan to head out for a drink, this caramel chai can lift your mood in seconds. And if the tea you ordered is too sweet for your taste, you can ask for spices or even a dash of salt, to balance the sugary flavour.
10. Vanilla Chai Latte
Image Courtesy: My Vegan Minimalist
This is it. This is the most indulgent mug of chai drink you can sip on when you need to feel cosy and comforted, STAT. Infused with strong spices, the heavenly aroma of vanilla and of course, our favourite milky chai, this chai-latte is a classic Starbucks, and a serious run for your money.
What a brew-tea-ful day to sip on some chai!