Saturday, April 5, 2008

How to Amuse the Proprietors of the Indian Market

I used my last masala chai teabag that G's friend had brought back from India. Last time, I had to wait until Arun returned home, and then back to Boston, for more tea. This time, I was more savvy. I saved the last 2 teabag wrappers (in case I lost one of the wrappers).

At the Indian grocer, I made a beeline for the tea section. I held my green wrapper up to the mostly red and gold boxes. I found no matching packaging; the closest design was on an herbal cough remedy. But I did spy the words masala chai on two boxes. One box showed a beaming Indian woman against a garish yellow background. The slightly more expensive box showed an illustration of tea and spices against a garish yellow background. I chose the latter.

We dodged the cute children running around and begging their parents for sweets (Indian cuisine does sweets really well) to approach the register. I held up the tea box and the green wrapper and asked the store proprietor if they were the same thing, explaining the backstory. He grinned and consulted with his wife. They concluded that it was same thing, different brand.

They appeared highly amused.

PS. I'd been trying to find a perfect make-your-own recipe for chai for years, until God revealed through the hand of Arun that there existed teabags where this is already done for you--perfectly.

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