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Gateway to Gastronomy: Chai and Pakore

Learn this simple recipe for a comforting meal!

Although the weather keeps fluctuating, chilly days haven’t completely gone away yet. It’s the perfect season for enjoying a hot, aromatic, and flavourful meal! 

For myself, winter has always meant drinking a lot of chai — Hindi for masala tea — which is a warm and comforting drink. It is black tea brewed with water, milk, aromatic spices, and a sweetener.

But chai is simply incomplete without a plate full of pakore (or pakoras). Hindi for fritters, these are cut vegetables or meat coated in seasoned gram flour and then deep fried. 

The recipes are just as simple.


Ingredients (serves two cups):

  • 2 glasses of water (approximately 200 – 250 mL)
  • 2 teaspoons of tea leaves
  • Ginger and black pepper or cardamom and cloves (or a combination)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Fennel (optional)
  • 1/4 of a glass of milk (approximately 20 mL or to taste)
  • Sugar, one spoonful per cup or to taste. Can substitute with honey or jaggery.


  1. Put water in a pot on medium-high heat. Add grated ginger and ground black pepper or two to three pieces each ground cardamom and cloves. Boil this mixture for one to two minutes.
  2. Add tea leaves to the mixture. Continue boiling the mixture for an additional one to two minutes.
  3. Add milk and sugar. Let the mixture boil for an additional minute, then turn-off the heat.
  4. Serve in glassware of your choice.



  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 onions (can use other vegetables such as brinjal, cauliflower, and green chilies)
  • 1 and a 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 and a 1/2 cup of gram flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red chili powder to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of carom (ajwain) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • Oil (for deep frying)


  1. Heat one to two cups of oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. As the oil heats, slice the potatoes and onions. Season them with salt, pepper, carom seeds, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Mix and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix one cup of gram flour and a half cup of water together to prepare a thick batter.
  4. Dip the vegetables in the batter and transfer them to the pan. Deep fry them together, and take them out once golden brown.

Serve the chai and pakore together and enjoy!

Jasleen Mahindru

Jasleen is a second-year student majoring in mathematics and minoring in economics and creative writing. When she is not questioning her life decisions, she can be found reading poetry, rewatching films, or scrolling through old photos, all while listening to Bollywood music.

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