Made for each other

Samosas and chai
I absolutely love this appetizer-beverage combo and wonder which genius first thought to serve them together.

Ah, life is good...

Ah, life is good…

The samosas pictured here contain a spicy potato filling inside a flour (maida) shell fried golden crisp. Many variations exist on this popular snack and party pleaser.

Spice Bazaar, an Indian grocery store in Frisco, Texas, sells samosas that beat the, how shall I say it, stuffing out of the local competition. What sets them apart is a light exterior dusting of black salt (kala namak). The filling? Authentic as it gets. Perfectly cooked and seasoned potatoes and green peas with a hint of crushed whole coriander seeds (aakha dhaniya).

Chai, straight up, is black tea with milk and sugar.

When it comes to black tea, it’s PG Tips all the way. This British favorite holds a permanent place in my pantry because it makes a beautiful amber brew and tastes amazing. That said, any plain black tea has potential. Milk, a good bit of sugar, and a flavor spike from your choice of extras—fresh ginger, cardamom, or chai masala—make for a tasty cup.

Anytime is tea time. Chai brings people together. Guess you could call it a social medium. A daily ritual in my family when I was growing up was afternoon tea around 3. We all looked forward to tea time, with my mother brewing the most perfect pick-me-up for us all. In college, a cafe break with friends meant a respite from long study sessions.

“Come over for chai!” If you hear these words, you can safely assume that the person extending the invitation really likes you. Take them up on the offer and you could find yourself sipping ambrosia, chit-chatting, and enjoying a savory snack or two. Lightly sweetened tea rusks and Marie biscuits are likely to make an appearance. If you see samosas on the table, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Chai and samosas! Like Laurel and Hardy, you could have one without the other, but they are so good together!

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