Chai tos makhan khain…

Breakfast 2 photo © Copyright by Steve Harvey.

An early morning, breakfast of chai tos makhan (brewed-tea, toast and butter) has returned.

After my strong tea article, one of my dear friends pointed out the risks of having tea on an empty stomach. For one, many of the articles on the subject sight black tea as the problem, while some of the articles that talk about milk tea, really talk about each individual ingredient within the tea and their risks, not the full concoction, ‘chai.’

If I cared, I would have researched the affects of chai on ourselves a bit more, but as most research goes, it’s never conclusive, until of course, it eventually is. Which it is never.

The idea of having chai early morning is not a new one to anyone in our family. You wake up, get out of bed and crave tea, demand tea and some are known to have opened their eyes only when tea was served at bedside. I’m not one of those, but this is factual and I know who of the few I refer here. SMILE.

It’s true, tea is our day-starter and there have been no noticed consequences for centuries. We sub-continentians can vouch for this, ‘tea in the morning, when brewed with the right quantities of milk, sugar and love, is harmless.’

The only thing I’ve missed from my day-start equation is this, ‘chai is always taken with nashta (breakfast).’ This when said, is the traditional position, though I know of many who take chai with no breakfast and have rather healthy and long lives. ما شاء الله

Having thought about this from another angle, having a cup of tea early morning, then breaking off a couple hours later to take my breakfast isn’t really productive. A break mid-morning is nice, but at times I just can’t take one, so breakfast gets delayed, very delayed, which isn’t good. It only makes me want to eat too much at lunch, or that it does.

The chat (not chai!) with my friend helped me dig into one of those few ideal breakfasts we have in our culture, chai tos makhan. He suggested ‘chai key sath tos ley ley’ (take toast with your tea, said with utter disrespect to a close friend, speaking in the very direct and personal, unforgiving, unmannerly tone of ‘tu, tujhey, tera’) that instantly made me recall the ‘ideal’, the ‘absolute’, the ‘perfect’ and ‘the breakfast’ I used to have, many many a thousand times, ‘chai tos makhan.’

For the past two days, I have prepared and had my chai, with a well-toasted slice of brown-bread and 10 grams of butter. I have, I must agree, indulged and added a slice of cheese to the mix. I sip into my tea a few bites into the toast, which has its own taste to it, a taste I’ve missed for a little too long.

If you’re looking for a perfect day-starting breakfast, try the chai tos makhan breakfast. It’s fairly quick to prepare and you can supplement it with cheese or an egg in whatever form you prefer.

Chai tos makhan khain, jannat main jain. (Have tea, toast and butter; ascend to Heaven.)