Is chai safe to drink in India?

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#31 Oct 11th, 2018, 18:52
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#31
It's often made in just the one pot, with the water, milk, tea leaves, sugar and other ingredients merrily bubbling away. Even at homes (from what I've seen). It's also interesting that almost everyone I've met has a different way of making chai that they think is best. Some add lemongrass, green tea leaves, cinnamom, cardamom, cloves - there would be way more that I don't really remember at the moment. Chai is very accepting.
#32 Nov 19th, 2018, 08:52
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#32
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Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post Safe in what way. Once it has been boiled for a while should be ok. Sounds like you are worried a lot about your India visit. Better to stay home and reduce your worries.
Iím not staying home because I have questions about food safety. I want to avoid getting sick and itís a legitimate concern. This isnít my first time traveling so Iím sure youíre an India expert but you shouldnít caution people from not going because they have a question about chai...you were a first timer to India once too. so donít tell me to stay home.
#33 Nov 19th, 2018, 09:12
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#33
Well you'll have up to 80 percent chance of getting travellers' diarrhoea anyhow.
#34 Nov 19th, 2018, 09:19
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Originally Posted by Hypatia View Post Well you'll have up to 80 percent chance of getting travellers' diarrhoea anyhow.
with the pepto bismal protocal and activated charcoal hopefully the trots will be kept to a minimum
#35 Nov 19th, 2018, 09:33
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#35
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Originally Posted by rajaajay View Post with the pepto bismal protocal and activated charcoal hopefully the trots will be kept to a minimum
This advice came from https://probearoundtheglobe.com/how-...e-delhi-belly/ and I agree:

It is always better to prevent getting ill on the road than to find a cure, so here are some quick tips. You might not avoid getting sick all the time but good personal hygiene will go a long way.

Wash your hands. Before touching food, after going to the toilet and when youíve had a long day of touching hand rails, shaking hands, handling money and the like. Donít become obsessed with it (do not sanitize your hands after shaking someones hand, that is just rude) but do it regularly.
Use wipes to refresh your face and hands. Do not flush them down the toilet and only use 1 at a time, but they can keep you clean and healthy.
Donít eat raw and uncooked food. Salads are usually washed with normal water which might not agree with your stomach. Ice-cubes are usually made with the local tap water, avoid them. Only eat fruit that you can peel yourself.
Use your judgement for eating out. There is nothing wrong with a street vendorís food as long as he prepares the food in front of you (and doesnít take it from a heating plate where it has been sitting for the last 5 hours).
Eat at places that are busy and have many other customers there. Chances that youíll be served yesterdayís food are lower. Restaurants with a high turn around rate are more likely to serve fresh foods and cook to order.
Donít eat at places that are too crowded where all the food is standing outside and waiting to be served. This is usually the case at tour group lunch restaurants and buffet dinners. Better avoid or ask to have something freshly cooked in front of you.
Practice good toilet hygiene. Squat, wipe, rinse if possible, wipe again if needed. And wash your hands with soap after, preferably sanitize them.
Donít touch your mouth or nose. I caught myself constantly resting my face in my hands, touching my lips, biting my nails. Refrain from this as much as possible. (this includes picking your nose).
Be careful what you touch. At home, we always hold the rail of the stairs when ascending. But do you really need to do that in the crowded subway?
Donít play with the money in your pocket. There are 3,000 types of bacteria on our money. Keep it in your wallet and only touch it when you need to spend it. Same applies for tokens or other kind of ticket stubs. Wash your hands every chance you get.

I would add: Drinking coconuts work great as oral rehydration solution if you are one of the unlucky ones. (1 liter water, 8 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt is the recipe; or put salt in a Coke. Or carry packets of ORS in your first aid kit to mix with clean water.) If it will be unavoidable for you to travel while ill, Immodium will freeze your gut until you get where you are going (don't take a second pill until you suffer another now-unlikely bout of purging), but it's for emergency use only, it's not a cure.

IM member Wyomingfly swears by taking Neem pills (preferably from Organic India) for ten days before departure: This somehow adjusts your microbiome so you have no difficulty in India.
Kathy
"Real Happiness Lies in Making Others Happy" - Avatar Meher Baba
Last edited by Forum Leader; Nov 19th, 2018 at 11:16..
#36 Nov 19th, 2018, 09:48
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#36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post This advice came from https://probearoundtheglobe.com/how-...e-delhi-belly/ and I agree:

It is always better to prevent getting ill on the road than to find a cure, so here are some quick tips. You might not avoid getting sick all the time but good personal hygiene will go a long way.

Wash your hands. Before touching food, after going to the toilet and when youíve had a long day of touching hand rails, shaking hands, handling money and the like. Donít become obsessed with it (do not sanitize your hands after shaking someones hand, that is just rude) but do it regularly.
Use wipes to refresh your face and hands. Do not flush them down the toilet and only use 1 at a time, but they can keep you clean and healthy.
Donít eat raw and uncooked food. Salads are usually washed with normal water which might not agree with your stomach. Ice-cubes are usually made with the local tap water, avoid them. Only eat fruit that you can peel yourself.
Use your judgement for eating out. There is nothing wrong with a street vendorís food as long as he prepares the food in front of you (and doesnít take it from a heating plate where it has been sitting for the last 5 hours).
Eat at places that are busy and have many other customers there. Chances that youíll be served yesterdayís food are lower. Restaurants with a high turn around rate are more likely to serve fresh foods and cook to order.
Donít eat at places that are too crowded where all the food is standing outside and waiting to be served. This is usually the case at tour group lunch restaurants and buffet dinners. Better avoid or ask to have something freshly cooked in front of you.
Practice good toilet hygiene. Squat, wipe, rinse if possible, wipe again if needed. And wash your hands with soap after, preferably sanitize them.
Donít touch your mouth or nose. I caught myself constantly resting my face in my hands, touching my lips, biting my nails. Refrain from this as much as possible. (this includes picking your nose).
Be careful what you touch. At home, we always hold the rail of the stairs when ascending. But do you really need to do that in the crowded subway?
Donít play with the money in your pocket. There are 3,000 types of bacteria on our money. Keep it in your wallet and only touch it when you need to spend it. Same applies for tokens or other kind of ticket stubs. Wash your hands every chance you get.

I would add: Drinking coconuts work great as oral rehydration solution if you are one of the unlucky ones. (1 liter water, 8 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt is the recipe; or put salt in a Coke. Or carry packets of ORS in your first aid kit to mix with clean water.) If it will be unavoidable for you to travel while ill, Immodium will freeze your gut until you get where you are going (don't take a second pill until you suffer another now-unlikely bout of purging), but it's for emergency use only, it's not a cure.
What about paneer? Iíve heard to avoid it and also that itís okay
#37 Nov 19th, 2018, 09:59
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#37
^^And after this all you go to a restaurant with a rather intresting way of washing dishes and staff that has as interesting idea of personal hygiene...

You can't really avoid it but you still should be careful.

Well, back in 1993 I had three months trip to India and occasionally drank tap water. Results: no stomach upsets (also tested back at home) but three cases of flue (2nd class sleeper during "winter" months etc.). Every other trip...
#38 Nov 19th, 2018, 12:09
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#38
An annual vaccination does wonders for precaution against Flu..
#39 Nov 19th, 2018, 21:06
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#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post Ok, now I am curious about northern and southern chai-making techniques. Am I doing it wrong?
I boil the tea leaves (Red Label) in filtered water then add the masala, then the gur, and when it resembles creosote and the gur chunks have melted, I add an equal amount of hot, creamy buffalo milk. My chai masala is a combination of adraak, elaichi, dalcheeni, chakra phool, kali mirch, and lavang. (Still experimenting with the proportions, it's different every time I grind it.) On special occasions I put grated fresh adraak.
That is very much how I make "sweet tea" too since living in India these many years. Though nowadays I tend to skip the sugar or jaggery and use stevia leaves instead.

Can I come to your place for tea?
#40 Nov 19th, 2018, 22:32
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#40
I would love to try buffalo milk... but I never see it in any shop. It is probably available from or through our local cowman, but I don't think I would want the traces of sewage and industrial effluent from the local canal that the buffalo hang around in.

I don't think that would be safe at all.



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#41 Nov 20th, 2018, 17:43
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#41
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Originally Posted by rajaajay View Post Iím not staying home because I have questions about food safety. I want to avoid getting sick and itís a legitimate concern. This isnít my first time traveling so Iím sure youíre an India expert but you shouldnít caution people from not going because they have a question about chai...you were a first timer to India once too. so donít tell me to stay home.
Good to see the travel spirit. As long as food is cooked fresh you will be fine. If you are worried about chai, drink coffee.

Wash your hands with soap and hot water as often as possible. Take general travel precautions and you will minimize the chances. Every one gets some dose of upset stomach. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
#42 Nov 20th, 2018, 19:21
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#42
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Wash your hands with soap and hot water as often as possible
Which leaves your health, assuming that you follow the basic tenets re ice cream, salad, fruit, water, etc, in the hands of... everybody else's hands. It is the hands that touch your plate, fork, spoon, cup, etc, that are more likely to make you ill than the food or drink itself. And, as we cannot see microbes, we are completely in their hands. You can call it fate if you want.

Take every sensible precaution talked about here and, for the rest, hope for the best, and be prepared to live with what comes. When I was a visitor, I had about one day per trip during which I had to know the whereabouts of a toilet, but was still able to get out and about. My first trip here with zero illness, the airline got me on the way home and I was revoltingly, stinkingly, horribly ill for a week.

Enjoy. Let us know about the places you visit and the food that you eat. And how India turns out to be, for you.

#43 Nov 20th, 2018, 20:02
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#43
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I would love to try buffalo milk... but I never see it in any shop. It is probably available from or through our local cowman, but I don't think I would want the traces of sewage and industrial effluent from the local canal that the buffalo hang around in.

I don't think that would be safe at all.



.
Yes Nick get yourself a clean buffaloó Iíve been having fresh ( boiling it myself) buffalo milk and curd ( jungle curd ) here in srilanka rich and creamyó although the curd is not pasteurised oh well I havenít started growing horns or anything ó yet !
#44 Nov 20th, 2018, 21:15
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#44
A pean to the buffalo:

Right from the childhood I liked buffalos much more than the holy cow. A cow can be temperamental and more dangerous to be around (even more so for a child). A buffalo has a higher self-esteem and is not aggressive at all. And, even a child can take it anywhere (where it wants to go ). The milk department is different but less fussy affair. It has a lower center of gravity and is much more stable an animal. And, it is a great role model - it is calm, collected, and doesnít overthink things
#45 Nov 20th, 2018, 21:44
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#45
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Originally Posted by redninja View Post Yes Nick get yourself a clean buffaloó
You'll have heard of something called The Buckingham Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmalik View Post [B]A cow can be temperamental and more dangerous to be around (even more so for a child). A buffalo has a higher self-esteem and is not aggressive at all.
I pass by them with great care when driving, just in case one of them decides to just lean on my car!

So far, though, I never got to know one, whereas I feel I have grown up with cows. Obviously I am missing out.
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