Its roots can be traced back to “Ayurveda”, the natural healing system of the Hindus. The word ‘chai’ and its variations are used throughout South Asia and the Middle East. And with time, after the British came to India their tradition of tea drinking seeped into Indians and tea sellers started selling variations as per the requirements and preferences.
Chai-dukans, or chai shops, became the new meeting place where men would gather to drink chai and socialize. At dhabas, the Indian 24-hour truck stops, Punjabi truck drivers demanded a strong cup of masala chai as a restorative drink to get them through the long hours of driving.
Masala Tea is one of the widely accepted variations. Different spices are brewed along with tea leaves to get a strong flavoured tea.
Ginger Tea was made as an herbal remedy to many diseases. The history of Ginger began 5,000 years ago, when Indians and ancient Chinese considered it a root tonic and good for many diseases. The tea is made with ginger root and tea leaves. Other widely used flavours are Cardamom and Saffron.
In historical times, this special dish was prepared with black pepper and tamarind due to the abundant supply of both these ingredients in South India. The main South Indian caste ‘Iyengars’ used to refer to the dish as ‘chattamudu’. Rasam is served as an appetizer in South Indian cuisine. It is often cooked with tomatoes or tamarind. Rassam is a quite healthy dish. The ingredients included in the dish are beneficial due to the presence of vitamins and minerals. Tamarind is a good laxative and also helpful in lowering the cholesterol.
Authentic lassi was born in 1,000 BC. A light, cool & creamy blend of Indian-style yogurt/ dahi. This must also be the world’s first Smoothie. Lassi and its various forms have been prepared for centuries. Special versions with ingredients like honey are used in some Hindu rituals, and ayurvedic practitioners may prescribe lassi to treat specific conditions. With time, besides the usual sweet and salt lassi there have been many fruit flavours also introduced in lassi.
A Malwani delicacy mainly served in Maharashtra and Goa. It is made up of local berry like fruit called ‘kokum’ and coconut milk with some tempering. It is considered as a natural cooler and has many other health benefits. Its different and refreshing taste has made it widely accepted and is also being promoted in urban areas as well.
Shikanji is a variation of lemonade mainly famous in the northern India, especially prevalent in both Indian and Pakistan. Alternative names include shikanji, shikanjbi and shikanjbeen. While the base ingredients include lemon or lime juice, ginger juice, ice and water, shikanjvi often contains other ingredients such as salt, saffron and cumin. The masala shikanji gained fame from the Meerut highway. The Jain Shikanji is prepared with a secret masala and has been around for more than three decades.
Lagan Nu Custard
No Parsi wedding is complete without the rich, creamy yummy Lagan Nu Custard which simply means a wedding custard or a celebration custard. This is still available at few iconic Parsi cafes in Mumbai. In earlier times, even though a Parsi wedding would comprise of 6-7 courses of meal, people would wait for an invite to taste this simply delicious baked Parsi dessert which was a must at every Parsi wedding. It is milk based baked custard essentially served with chironji.
Dabeli literally means “pressed” in Gujarati language. A mix of masala, poatato, chutneys, namkeen all pressed in a pav and served as a wholesome meal. It is said to be invented by Keshavji Gabha, resident of Mandvi, Kutch in the 1960s. When he started his business he sold a Dabeli at one anna or six paisa. This extremely flavourful, spicy street dish though originated in the infamous town of Mandvi, but got its fame as it travelled with the Gujaratis along with their trade from Kutch to Mumbai. Though as it travelled it even changed its taste, presentation and spice content but we at Nukkadwala™ would maintain the authentic taste and flavour.
Popular Indian lore says that on a pilgrimage to Mecca in the 16th century Baba Budan, a revered Sufi saint from India, discovered for himself the wonders of coffee. In his zeal to share what he’d found with his fellows at home, he smuggled seven coffee beans out of the Yemeni port of Mocha, wrapped around his belly. On his return home, he settled himself on the slopes of the Chandragiri Hills in Kadur district, Mysore State (present day Karnataka). This hill range was later named after him as the Baba Budan Hills and one can see his tomb even today by taking a short trip from Chikmagalur.
South India has grown coffee since the 1670s. Back then, Tamil Brahmins resisted tea claiming it to be too down-market giving it a working class reputation that it has never been able to entirely shrug off in the South.
The cultivation of coffee and tea was linked to colonialism, and in the literature of time, it was described as a European beverage. Coffee was more popular to the modern educated class and perceived ‘modern’ and hence came at a price. Unlike tea it was brewed in milk, which made it more expensive. It became more popular amongst every one during the ’80s. And the south Indian Coffee is enjoyed by Maharashtrians, Gujaratis and many individuals across the country.
Akuri is a spicy scrambled egg dish eaten in Parsi cuisine. Served on toasted Mumbaiyaa Pav. Akuri is a breakfast cum daytime snack. The Parsis have a love affair with eggs. Traditional breakfasts during the 1930s in Mumbai and in many South Gujarat villages consisted of khurcha, and some variant of the ubiquitous deep-fried, fried or half-fried eggs. In agrarian communities this would be washed down by copious quantities of coconut toddy, often straight off the tree.
A steamed egg on a toasted Mumbaiyaa Pav with spicy and tangy Mayonnaise garnished with Salli.