Exploring Indian Culture: Chai - Radical

Exploring Indian Culture: Chai

As we prepare for Secret Church 16: A Global Gospel in a World of Religions, we want to learn about India, our prayer focus for this year. This week’s blog posts will showcase parts of Indian culture that make the country unique. Learn with us as we glimpse a small portion of India’s incredible culture.

No trip to India would be complete without a steaming cup of chai. Chai or masala chai is a milk-based tea consumed all over India and in many parts of Asia. Indians drink this at any time of day in their homes or out in the markets. Street vendors selling this drink are called chai wallas and can be found almost anywhere.

Chai is a combination of black tea, milk, various spices, and a sweetener. Spices used in this tea can vary by region and even by household, as families pass down recipes for the “best” chai. Typically spices for chai include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper.

In recent years, chai gained more popularity in the West, and now mixes pop up on the shelves of specialty grocery stores. Major tea producers also market chai-spiced tea that comes in loose leaf or tea bag varieties. Though you could find one of these options fairly easily, many Indian people would tell you that the homemade version is the best and gives you the fullest experience.

Making chai at home:

If you’re up to the task of making chai in your home, here are a few recipe suggestions. Remember, many recipes abound because everyone wants to make “the best.” Try a few recipes to decide which one you prefer.

During Secret Church 16: A Global Gospel in a World of Religions, we will spend focused time in prayer for India—its cities, people, and persecuted church. Join us as we ask the Lord to strengthen the church in India and bring more Indians into the Kingdom of God. To register for the Secret Church simulcast, click here.

How can you make chai and make an impact? 

  • Invite your small group over for chai and cookies. As you sip the warm goodness, spend time praying for India. Use our blog for prayer ideas.
  • Use your newfound skill of making chai to connect to South Asians who live near you. Ask them what their favorite recipe is and invite them over to compare recipes. As you get to know them, share with them the good news of Jesus Christ.

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