Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for unusual

I can be quite the purist when it comes to masala chai.

Once, I met this lady who told me she loves masala chai tea (grrr....) so much that she went to Mustafa and bought the masala tea mix (GRRRR....) so she could make authentic (GRRRRRRRR...) masala chai tea (STOP CALLING IT CHAI TEA ALREADY, YOU FEMALE WOMAN!).

Already offended on multiple levels, I still got myself to tell her how to make authentic masala tea the proper way, by boiling the actual spices in the milk+water mixture and using tea leaves, not tea bags. I'm not very sure she was listening though, because very soon after, she was subtly trying to check if I'd accept Jesus as my saviour.

Lady, I have masala chai in my life. You really think I need a saviour?

There are very few things in life that I revere as much as a well-made cup of masala chai. Which is why I found it very uncharacteristic of me that when I came across the concept of masala chai cupcakes, instead of going 'What the...?!", I went, "Why not?"

"Omg there is such a thing as masala chai cupcakes!!!" I messaged the family WhatsApp group, followed by a "Omg where are you ALL when I wanna try making them????"  😭😭😭

The sister-in-law, who is sweet enough to always indulge me when I say really weird things reacted with a "Oh!!" followed by "But also ew?"

(She's a chai-lover, but not a dessert-lover, so the idea of masala chai cupcakes must have short-circuited her brain. Kind of what happened to me when I found out about vodka pani puri.)

I was a little sceptical at first, but strangely, I was feeling quite open to the idea of masala chai cupcakes. Compared to the weird teas I'd been offered in different points in my life (tea with pepper powder, tea boiled with green chillis, and of course, Starbucks chai tea), this seemed like a safe bet. I figured I'd make a small batch so that if it was as disgusting as I'm sure it sounds to many people, I could just toss it without feeling bad. But here's the thing with baking stuff that needs eggs. You can only go down to one egg when reducing your batch size. And that still makes quite a big number of cupcakes.

Anyway, last weekend, I threw caution and cynicism to the wind and made them! Xena sat at the dining table, reading her book (and silently judging me). She looked quite disturbed at the sight of the tea cooling on the table and more disturbed when I told her I was going to add it to the cupcake batter, but at the same time, she was filled with relief because she knew that the presence of tea meant that she wouldn't have to sample the cupcakes at all.

With Viv in the US, and the in-laws back in Bangalore and with no guinea pig sister-in-law, I knew it would come down to me to finish off the batch. And I was willing to take the risk.

What a relief that the cupcakes turned out to be totally... edible! I wouldn't call them fantastic (yet) because I still want to tweak the recipe (use a bit of baking soda to counter the tea's acidity, and use more tea leaves so that their flavour comes through more strongly).

The masala chai flavour was quite subtle, but it was there all right and it didn't seem to disagree with the idea of being in a cupcake. Phew!


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Bonus:
Okay, I absolutely have to share this punversation the sis-in-law and I had over WhatsApp last night as we tried to find her a suitable topic for her U post. She had recently posted about how much she missed the pun wars we punstars and pundits used to have on her Facebook wall (gosh, I miss them too!) and so it was so fun to get back to punning, even though it was just the two of us! We need a gigantic group pun war soon!   

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7 comments:

Arun said...

"The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC."

Charan Deep Singh said...

I liked the punversation post a lot. Unusal.

I wrote about my first teacher. Do read.

http://charandeepsblog.blogspot.in/2017/04/u-usha-madam.html

Arun said...

Combining some of your favorite things - masala chai and baking; you have a blog post about it, now additionally you need a song :)

Rank Amateur
Talented Amateur/Professional?

Arun said...

Oh, and combine it with Google and Puns:
Quote:


Let’s get this par-TEA started.
Can’t we all just get oolong?
It’s okay to steep together on the first date
What do you call a dinosaur drinking tea? A TEA-Rex!
Move oolong, there’s nothing to tea here.
Good morning, brew-tea-ful.
Caffeine-free tea brings out my inner tranquilit-TEA.
For TEA’s a jolly good fellow.
Hit me with your best pot.
These puns are bringing out my inner creativi-TEA.

Let's recap: masala tea, baking, blogging, music and puns :)

Sayesha said...

Arun,
Gosh I had to go google to see if you were serious or kidding! :D :D :D

Charan,
Thanks. :)

Arun,
Loved the puns hahahaha! :D

Arun said...

I thought I had posted this comment, apparently not.
The New Yorker Cartoon caption contest might be fun for spare moments.
http://contest.newyorker.com/
http://contest.newyorker.com/

Arun said...

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/fifty-historical-dictator-puns-in-a-hundred-and-twenty-seconds
Fifty Historical-Dictator Puns in a Hundred and Twenty Seconds

Quite atrocious, might gladden the heart of a punnoisseur.
You have to get past the initial advertisement though.