Friday, June 16, 2017

How to make Tea – Two Recipes – Full Bodied Invigorating Tea + Amrutatulya Tea

Two Recipes
Full Bodied Invigorating Tea and AMRUTATULYA CHAHA (Amrut Tulya Tea)

RECIPE NO. 1 (Full Bodied Invigorating Tea)

I love tea.

You too love a cup of invigorating tea  dont you...?

But tell me 
– Do you know how to make a good cup of delicious tea...?

Okay  let me tell you how. 
Here is my time-tested simple way of preparing the best cup of invigorating tea.

Get some good Assam CTC Tea 

CTC is an acronym for CrushTear and Curl ).

CTC teas have a granular appearance. 

The fact of the matter is that if you are really interested in a Stimulating, Refreshing and Invigorating cup of traditional Indian Tea  then Orthodox Leaf Teas [like the fancy Orange Pekoe (OP), the Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) et al] just don’t fit the bill.

You need CTC tea leaves to brew your strong, bright and full-bodied cup of milky Chai which looks deliciously appetizing – a lively reddish orange colour and not the dull muddy brown colour you get when you add milk to tea made from leaf teas the orthodox “teapot” way.


Take two cups of fresh water (one for you and one for me...!) in a stainless steel vessel.

Add four teaspoons of sugar
Yes  sugar must be added before boiling the water.

Put on the stove 
 cover with a lid – and boil.

Once the water starts boiling 
 remove the lid  and boil for one and a half minutes – yes  exactly one and a half minutes...!

Now  briskly add two teaspoons of CTC Tea leaves.

The boiling water will suddenly erupt  and surge up  like a volcano.

So  smartly switch off the flame before it spills over  and quickly cover the vessel tightly with the lid.

Brew for five minutes 
– till the liquor is full-bodied  and the infusion is complete.

Have ready some freshly boiled full cream buffalo milk

Yes – fresh creamy buffalo milk is a must (in Pune  I prefer Chitale’s Full Cream Milk).

 pour in some hot milk in the cup.

Then  through a strainer  pour in the rich tea brew into the milk  till you get beautiful reddish orange colour.


Always pour Tea into Milk. 

You must never pour Milk into Tea.

This is the secret of the appetizingly attractive bright lively carroty red colour  as it facilitates the perfect blending of the strong rich full-bodied intense tea liquor tea brew with the creamy white milk without producing any bitterness.

Now  go ahead  relish every sip  and enjoy your cup of ambrosial divine rejuvenating tea.

And  Dear Reader: Dont forget to tell us how you liked your delicious cup of tea.


Pune is a Tea Town. 

Or should I say: “Pune was a Tea Town” – because the culinary culture of Pune has changed.
In the “good old days” – there were chiefly two types of tea for the laid-back discerning gourmet Punekar to relish:
1. The tasty flavoursome AMRUT-TULYA CHAHA at the ubiquitous Amrutatulya Tea Shops at every nook and corner of Pune 
2. The peerless inimitable IRANI CHAI served by the numerous Irani Restaurants across the city of Pune. Places like Café Naaz, Lucky, Good Luck, Volga, Vohuman etc were popular for their tasty Irani Chai
Indeed Amrutatulya Chaha and Irani Chai are an important aspect of the culinary heritage of our Pune.
Irani Chai is the most rejuvenating beverage I have ever had
They keep the steaming rich tea brew and hot milk in separate containers  and mix it in just the right proportion to get the terrific inimitable pinkish Gulabi Chai.
A few years ago  I got a shock of my life when I discovered a Barista coffee shop in place of my favourite Naaz at the Northern End of Main Street. 
Yes  my favourite Irani Restaurants, Naaz, Lucky and many others have disappeared  and only the redoubtable Good Luck at Deccan Gymkhana remains.
Amrutatulya Chaha Tea Shops too are fast vanishing. 
The one nearest to where I lived on Tilak Road in Sadashiv Peth in the 1960’s next to Ashok Bakery has disappeared many years ago. 
Further down Tilak Road past SP College towards Maharashtra Mandal there still exist the legendary Ambika and New Ambika Amrutatulyas
A friend of mine used to savour his morning cuppa in Ambika  and his evening cup of tea in New Ambika. 
If you look around you will still find a number of Amrut-tulyas in the heart of Pune city  though in the newly developed cosmopolitan suburbs there are Tea Tapris.
Amrut means nectar  and Tulya means comparable  so “Amrut Tulya” means “Comparable to Nectar”
And indeed  true to its name  Amrutatulya tea is comparable to nectar –  sweet, ambrosial  like the elixir of life!
I love watching Amrutatulya chaha being prepared. 
They prepare tea in front of you in a brass vessel. 
The speciality of this vessel is that as it starts ageing  the tea becomes tastier. 
Milk and water are boiled together  with plenty of sugar, cardamom powder, crushed ginger and tea leaves  stirring continuously to make sure the concoction does not overflow. 
The aroma of this tea is tempting enough to pull you inside for a hot cup of tea.
As an ardent tea lover  I am glad to share a recipe of traditional Amrutatulya chaha
Tea Leaf: If you live in Pune, get the famous CTC+OP (CTC – Crush, Tear, Curl; OP – Orange Pekoe; BOP – Broken Orange Pekoe) family mixture tea powder from any of the tea depot located in the heart of Pune City. If you prefer branded tea, you may use some good Assam CTC tea. You may also use a strong leaf tea brand like Wagh Bakri Premium Leaf Tea if you prefer.
Full Cream Buffalo Milk
Fresh Water
Fresh Crushed Ginger (Better still you can crush the juicy fresh ginger with the chimta directly into the water-milk concoction to let the ginger juices flow out and blend in smoothly. 
Cardamom (Elaichi) – peel, crush and powder the pods
Please remember that Amrutatulya tea is not your traditional masala chai  so please do not add any tea masalas or spices like clove, cinnamon, black peppercorns or herbs like gavati chaha (lemongrass), tulsi leaves etc. 
Also  remember it is not the khada chamach  or  cutting chai  so please don’t boil away to glory.
And  do remember – Amrutatulya Chaha is cooked – not brewed.
Method of “Cooking” Amrut Tulya Chaha
  • In a brass vessel (or stainless steel  if you cannot get a brass vessel)  mix one cup of water and one cup of milk.
  • Add four teaspoons of sugar.
  • Put on the stove on medium heat.
  • Squeeze in a bit of fresh crushed ginger  and then add a pinch of freshly ground cardamom powder and the freshly crushed cardamom peel.
  • Lightly and lovingly  stir the concoction  let it warm  and bring it to boil.
  • Add two teaspoons of tea powder  and keep stirring gently to ensure the boiling concoction does not spill over.
  • Keep boiling till the tea attains bright golden-orange colour.
  • The moment you see a reddish tinge  give the heavenly brew a loving last stir  twirl the vessel  and sieve the Amrut Tulya Nectar Tea  your Special Amrutatulya Chaha  directly into the cups.
You can drink Amrutatulya Chaha from your cup.
But you will enjoy Amrutatulya Tea better if you drink it from the saucer  sucking and pulling in the yummy liquid with your lips  and let it deliciously emulsify on your tongue for that heavenly elevating feeling.
Sip the delicious tea slowly and mindfully  roll it on your tongue  let it mingle in your palate  close your eyes  absorb, discern the flavour, the rich taste  relish every sip lovingly.
Amrutatulya Chaha is truly lip-smacking tasty and soul refreshing  blissful ambrosia  an experience of nectar – you can take my word for it. 
Once you experience the bliss of good Amrut Tulya” Chaha – you will know why they call this refreshingly delicious and nourishing tea Amrut Tulya or “Comparable to Nectar” Tea
Now that I have told you two recipes for Tea – do try out both – and – let us know which one you like – the first – which my Better-Half likes – or – the second – Puneri Amrutatulya Nectar Tea.
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