I was drinking a cup of hot tea in Hyderabad in 2014. It was good in taste. I found it creamy masala tea. But when I was paying for it and gave Rs 10 to tea stall owner then he asked me for Rs 2 more. It was unexpected because it was just a road side tea stall. I asked him “Was it something special?” He said. “Yes, it was Irani chai.” I was not aware about such Irani chai (Hyderabadi Irani tea). I mean never heard about it.
After one or two days I again visited that tea stall and ordered ame Hyderabadi style Irani chai (or Irani tea). That time I was carefully observing how he was preparing that tea. I observed that he added milk, fresh cream, tea leaves and some spices powder. It was quite similar to masala tea in Delhi. They also use full cream milk and spices to prepare masala (spicy) tea. I tried such super delicious spicy & creamy hot tea at Pul Bangas metro station and also at Narela main bazar. But here in Irani chai (or Irani tea), more cream or condensed milk is added and it is less spicy than masala tea in Delhi.
But during that Hyderabad tour, I never realized that it was so popular in Hyderabad. But later I came to know that it is very popular across the city. There are so many old & famous cafes also offer such Irani chai (Hyderabadi Irani tea). There are so many stories related to its induction in Hyderabad food & beverage culture. Some people say that it was adopted in Hyderabadi food & beverages culture during the rule of Qutb Shahi dynasty. But some people say that it was adopted during the rule of Nizams.
So when I came back to Kolkata and tried such Irani chai at home, it was good for first time but after 4-5 times now I can make better Hyderabadi style Irani tea than what I tasted at road side tea stall in Hyderabad. But now I have decided that whenever I will visit Hyderabad next time then I will try Irani chai (Irani tea) at some famous cafes. AND when I will come back then I will do experiment to make something better than that.
Irani tea or Irani chai recipe
- 2.5 cup full cream milk
- ½ cup fresh cream
- Some spices (2 cardamon, 1 cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 anise & pinches of black pepper powder)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp tea
- Add ½ cup full cream milk and boil till it is almost dried up, keep it separately for further use
- Now add residual full cream milk (2 cups) in a separate pot and allow it to start boiling
- Then add all spices and also add tea leaves and boil it is reduced to 1.5 cups of tea
- Now strain it into a tea pot and finally pour into the same pot where you prepared dried milk (mawa)
- Then boil it for next 2 minutes, add fresh cream too and stir continuously and boil,
- Add sugar and boil for another 2 minutes, then serve it with your favorite biscuits/snacks