The difference between Indian & Pakistan Chai
There are 2 differences. Pakistanis don’t usually put Masala in their chai. They might add one ground up cardamon pod, but that’s it.
On the other hand, in India, we’ll ground up 7-8 spices into a Masala spice mix and add that during cooking.
The other difference is the tea used. Indian and Pakistani tea leaves just taste different! To protect their tea industries, you won’t find Indian tea in Pakistan, and vice-versa.
How different do they taste? Honestly, I can’t describe it. You have to taste Pakistani tea to taste the difference. It’s not bad. It’s just different and a stronger taste.
Everything else is similar. Both countrymen enjoy doodh-pati (full milk) and sugar in their chai. And chaiwalas are on every corner in both countries. India and Pakistan both run on chai.
Pakistani “Quetta” Chai Recipe
Making a good chai doesn’t get any easier than this recipe! This is straight from Chai Master Mr Karim Ullah of Quetta Singapore Cafe, Islamabad.
- 1 mug of full cream milk (cheaper milk in the supermarket won’t cut it, you need to buy the most natural and unprocessed milk you can find. Ideally Buffalo milk if available.)
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1.5 tsp black tea (ideally Tapal Danedar if you can find it! It’s not Pakistani chai if you’re not using Pakistani tea leaves.)
- Bring milk to nearly boiling. Stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add sugar. Stir while it’s dissolving.
- Add tea. Stir and let it boil up 3 or 4 times.
- Pour from a height through a strainer to get those creamy air bubbles on top.
For a stronger tea, use more tea leaves and boil the tea for longer. Pakistanis drink their tea strong, so you should have a rich golden brown colour at the end.