Chai in a "Kulhar" and other clay pots of India

#1 Jun 1st, 2004, 14:01
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#1
Hi All,

Has anyone wondered the differance in taste 'cause of the container in which the drink is served/stored? In my views the container does make a great differance. Like, I can hardly drink the tea in a plastic cup, a glass, ceramic or bone-china cup is much better....but nothing to beat a "Kulhar" (a clay pot )

But so sad that plastic has been fastly replacing "Kulhar" and various other types of clay pots in India

Yesterday, I was thrilled to find my favourite Chai (tea) in my favourite container the "Kulhar" at Chandigarh Railway Station. Which I had enjoyed long back in Calcutta, where it is still the trend to serve Chai in Kulhar as in various other places in West Bengal, UP and Bihar (but they call it by different names.....)

Thanks to Laloo (our new Railway Minister) , that The Railway canteens and vendors on the stations will now serve all drinks in Kulhar (which very surprisingly includes cold drinks as well, I think that will not taste any good).

In my views, the following things taste better when prepared, stored or served in "Kulhar" type of clay pots:

Chai (tea)
Coffee (had that last time on Hapur Railway station, great!),
Curd (as served in Rajdhani/Shatabdi Trains)
Kulfi (which when made/served in clay pot is had with a bamboo stick, a real yummy thing)
Dum- Biryani (it is best when cooked and served in a clay pot);
Water (which is stored in a 'Matka' a clay pot or "Surahi" the one which traditionally has a spout like a lion's head)

I would love to have your views on this 'Laloo decision' and on various clay pots of India.

As it is being said, it sure is a great boost for 'Kumhaars', the local potters of India and the environment!

Ashish
#2 Jun 1st, 2004, 14:29
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#2
Great decision... gotta love those clay pots. As you said... good for the local economy and the environment. Managed to get one back to New Zealand without it breaking... nice 1 rupee souvenir.
#3 Jun 1st, 2004, 17:04
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#3
Tea, curds, water and kulfi from a clay pot do taste great. However, let's hope IR does not serve Tomato soup and Ice Cream in clay pots too!
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#4 Jun 1st, 2004, 17:21
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#4
Does this mean that we can expect the demise of the plastic cups on te railways ...HURRAH!!!!!!

It would be great if they brought back the claypots ...Thye do add a distinctive flavour and they have virtually no impact on the environment when disposed of ....Magic!!!!

As for containers affecting taste...Coke, beer etc always taste better from a bottle than from a can

Bryan
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For a' that, an a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
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Shall brithers be for a' that.
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#5 Jun 1st, 2004, 19:17
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#5
An enlightened first decision by the new Minister for Railways!

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and earth to earth.

Considering the present state of the world oil industry, I wonder if we can look forward to seeing those leviathans of steam once more plying the Indian rail network?

Please note - this is not a political post!
#6 Jun 1st, 2004, 22:26
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#6
Ah, wouldn't it be great to have those noisy dirty and sooooo romantic steam trains back again! Now you've set me to dreaming, Alan D!
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#7 Jun 1st, 2004, 22:50
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#7
Surprised to learn that so many western travellers actually remember the clay cup of chai with fondness!

Alan D, to me its an example of how 'enlightened' decesions are actually very basic and simple and what india needs. ....
err...moderators, if this reply is judged political, its Alans fault!
#8 Jun 4th, 2004, 00:40
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#8
Lassi, hmmm! Lassi in Varanasi and in Jaipur was served to me in these pots. Tastes good in them, though the rough clay is a bit sticky on the lips.

Talking about recycling - has anyone ever thought of importing those paper bags that are made from old newspapers to the West? I think they'd be a hit in many environment-concious countries.
'To see the world in a grain of sand; and heaven in a wild flower; to hold infinity in the palm of your hand; and eternity in an hour'
#9 Jun 4th, 2004, 03:23
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#9
-------------------
wonderwomanusa said

Ah, wouldn't it be great to have those noisy dirty and sooooo romantic steam trains back again!

-------------
Oh yes and all that coal dust blowing through the barred windows,,,
That certainly was the Romance of Indian Railways.
#10 Jun 4th, 2004, 04:15
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#10
exactly what I was thinking too -- chai in clay cups seem to go along with coal cinders blowing in through open train windows for me too.
#11 Jun 4th, 2004, 04:50
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#11

IR bring back chai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bring back the clay cups and as we're on the nostalgia thing hows about IR bringinging back "chai"
On the last trip I was served chai only a couple of times and charged extra for the privilage, ( it's now masala chai and warrents 1 rupee surcharge!) the money doesn't matter but the hopeless milky water and tea-bag affairs that seem to have become the norm on the expresses of India, just aint chai, forget the tea bags, bring back chai!!!!!!
#12 Jun 4th, 2004, 07:41
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#12
Quote:
Originally posted by -m2-
exactly what I was thinking too -- chai in clay cups seem to go along with coal cinders blowing in through open train windows for me too.
M2, That sure triggered a memory! .... My 2'nd trip to India in the early 70's.... Delhi to Varanasi ..... Third class on a steam powered train . Chai in clay cups at station stops. Swigs of duty free cognac between stations. Burning cinders flying by. More than a few making it through the window bars.
Was travelling with an English friend who was a long time India resident. John spoke several languages besides English (Hindi, Tibetan, Orria) and certainly knew the ropes. We had arranged to meet at Nirulas and catch a ride to the station. It was getting late and I was fretting about missing the train. John had been to a function at an embassy and only showed up at the last minute. His hosts had lent him the diplomatic limo and driver to get to the station. Wheee! I threw my bag in the back and we took off. Police were stopping traffic so we could get through, it was great. The best was yet to come.... when we pulled up to the station the porters all came rushing over. A couple of porters took the bags.... Then the tickets came out so they could find our seats. They looked at the car, then at the tickets... "Third class sahib"??? I should have photographed the look of utter disbelief on their faces. Alas, I was laughing too hard.

Wanderer22
#13 Jun 4th, 2004, 12:31
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#13
#14 Jun 4th, 2004, 19:03
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#14
so sad I have not seen the good old steam engine running on the tracks ....had only seen them at the rail musium.

I understand the place of wheels runs still runs on steam?
#15 Jul 15th, 2004, 13:21
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#15
Quote:
Originally posted by Bryan
Does this mean that we can expect the demise of the plastic cups on te railways ...HURRAH!!!!!!
These guys also needs to be taught about the problem with plastic cups!
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