Nilgiris n Nature; Coonoor n Chai!

This recent visit of ours to the motherland (India) had to be cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak! The wedding festivities of my nephew were scaled down! Nonetheless, we did manage to have a fair share of fun moments on this trip!

Coimbatore, which was were spent the most part of our holidays, is a beautiful city in South India. From jaw dropping waterfalls to breathtaking mountains, mouth-watering cuisines to pleasant weather it had everything possible to make for a beautiful experience!

The Isha Foundation, the Maruthamalai Murugan Temple and several other historic places which are situated on hilltops not only give you a peek into the intricate architectural masterpieces but also into the opulent native culture!

Approximately 80 kms from this beautiful city is another idyllic getaway, the Coonoor Tea Estates! A perfect place to admire the breathtaking mountains, while sipping your favourite cup of chai! The aroma of fresh tea leaves and the gorgeous landscapes with lush, green vegetation allows you to enjoy nature at its best. To top it, we couldn’t have asked for a better timing, mid-March when the purple spring flowers are in full bloom all along the way on the scenic drive! Not to mention the monkeys which keep you entertained all along, with their antics!

The most spectacular ranges of South India, Nilgiris (Blue Mountains) on Western Ghats is where I did get to capture some amazing clicks, with a worth-watching background at the backdrop.

Even though this wasn’t my first visit, and hopefully, will have an opportunity to revisit the splendour of nature with its scenic landscapes, lush greenery and numerous slopes!

If you get an opportunity to visit the Nilgiris, do enjoy the gourmet tea tasting experience. The experience will surely take you on a sensory journey through the myriad colours, aromas and flavours of gourmet high grown Nilgiris teas!

In the meanwhile, here’s two recipes for some of the popular and favourite ‘Masala Chai’ and which was mentioned earlier! Try it out from the comfort of your home on this beautiful Saturday morning!

Masala Chai cannot be described by just one word. Spicy, strong, malty, earthy – the list is never ending. Add a dash of cardamom, a hint of ginger, sprinkle some cinnamon, the possibilities are endless. And the inimitable ingredient that makes this brew so special and versatile is, Indian Black Tea!

Easy Recipe

Method:

  • Gather all the ingredients: Black Tea (level teaspoon), Sugar or Honey (if desired), ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper (a pinch of each to taste).
  • Grind all the spices together.
  • Boil Water.
  • Just before the water comes to a rolling boil, add the tea leaves and the ground spices and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Add milk and sugar and let is simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a strainer and pour into cup and relax and enjoy!

Iced Masala Chai!
Ingredients:  Cinnamon stick, fresh ginger root, green cardamom, cloves (whole), mint leaves and lemon. India Black tea.

Method:

  • Boil Water.
  • Add the spices, sugar (if needed) and tea leaves/bags. Turn the heat off. And let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain hot tea let it cool and then transfer to a pitcher.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Serve with ice. Add lemon juice and mint & enjoy!

 

 

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