Tea is one of the most beloved beverages in India. From the bustling streets of Mumbai to the sleepy towns of Uttar Pradesh, you’ll find people sipping on their favorite brew. But if you’re a true chai lover, you’ll know that not all chai is created equal. One of the most unique and delicious varieties of chai is Banarasi paan chai. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Banarasi paan chai, from its history and origins to its health benefits and how to make it at home.
What is Banarasi paan chai?
Banarasi paan chai is a popular variation of chai that originated in the city of Banaras (also known as Varanasi) in Uttar Pradesh, India. It gets its name from the inclusion of paan, a popular Indian mouth-freshener made from betel leaves. Banarasi paan chai is made using a blend of spices, tea leaves, and milk, along with crushed paan leaves.
History and Origins
Banaras is one of the oldest cities in India, and has a rich cultural and historical heritage. It is believed that Banarasi paan chai originated in the city during the early 20th century, when tea was introduced to India by the British. Over time, locals started adding their own unique flavors and ingredients to the traditional tea, and Banarasi paan chai was born.
How to make Banarasi paan chai If you want to try making Banarasi paan chai at home, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons tea leaves
- 2-3 crushed paan leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
- 2-3 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a small pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the tea leaves, crushed paan leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick to the pot. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the milk and sugar to the pot, and stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and then let it simmer for a few more minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve, and pour the chai into a cup.
- Garnish with additional crushed paan leaves, if desired.
Health Benefits of Banarasi paan chai
Banarasi paan chai is not only delicious, but it also has potential health benefits. The betel leaves used in paan have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They contain a variety of compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can also help improve digestion. The spices used in Banarasi paan chai, such as cardamom and cinnamon, are also known for their health benefits, including improving blood sugar control and reducing inflammation.
Where to find Banarasi paan chai
If you’re ever in Banaras, there are many shops and stalls that serve Banarasi paan chai. One of the most popular places to try it is at the iconic Blue Lassi shop, which has been serving lassis and chai for over 70 years. However, Banarasi paan chai is not just limited to Banaras – you can also find it in other parts of India and the world.
Read Also: 33 Best Places for Tea in Varanasi
Banarasi paan chai is a delicious and unique variation of chai that is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you’re a chai lover or just looking to try something new, this flavorful beverage is definitely worth a try. So next time you’re in Banaras, be sure to seek out a cup of Banarasi paan chai and savor the rich blend of spices, tea leaves, and paan. And if you can’t make it to Banaras, why not try making it at home? With just a few simple ingredients, you can create your own version of this iconic Indian drink.