Today's blog starts on a somewhat somber note.
While we genuinely want to be thankful for so much. The spring weather, blooms, seedlings, the prospect of lounging outdoors on warm summer evenings sipping chilled Chai cocktails with friends, we can't seem to let go of the heaviness that comes from watching/ reading the news regarding India.
Madura and I are both from Maharashtra, a large state along the country's western coast. India is currently reeling under the pressure of a massive wave of Coronavirus.
Our hearts go out to those in India reeling under the wave of the Pandemic.
This is very personal for Madura and me; our parents live in India, so do our brothers and extended families. We have lost friends and family to this tidal wave of the pandemic.
While we are so thankful to have had access to the vaccine and be fully vaccinated, as life returns to normal here in the U.S.A., we feel somewhat disassociated seeing the pain, suffering, and death in India.
At The Chai Bar, we continue to pray for everyone in India, sending good vibes and love.
While it may seem like you have to donate or make some monitory contributions to the cause possibly, we ask you to Pray for those who are ill and for their families for the strength to face this horrendous situation.
Sometimes when I feel low, I do turn to food for comfort. #guiltea Not in the way of binge eating my emotions, more so, to feel closer to home and more in sync with my inner self.
Tea is one of my "uppers" Somehow, a hot cup of Chai, even on a 90'F day, can make things a bit better.
My seasonal favorite at the moment is Mangalyam - Black Tea, Lavender Marigold Blend. This delicate floral Chai is reminiscent of a bike ride through the grasslands.
Somehow, especially when I'm feeling blue, this Chai works almost like aromatherapy.
I associate Lavender with my trips to Europe with my family, Madura associates Lavender and Marigold with her wedding day. Her wedding venue was adorned with Lavender and Marigold.
They say scent-associated memories are formed when you enjoy a pleasant feeling associated with a smell. For me, the smell of Mangalyam instantly uplifts my spirits.
This week's post was supposed to be all about spring-summer, lavender blooms, and lavender baking, but we didn't get around doing the detailed recipe we planned. Instead, we ended up combining Mangalyam with
Lavender Lemon Loaf.
Some cultures pair tea with meals like lunch and dinner too.
While Lavender is a scent that has emotional value for the two of us, lemon is a classic spring-summer pairing for tea and baked goods alike. Besides, Lavender works well with acidic notes.
We made a classic chilled Chai with Mangalyam paired with a quick and easy Lavender Lemon Loaf.
Baking doesn't always have to be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Some of our fav recipes are quick to make and big to wow.
This loaf is a soft, sweet, fresh flavored tea time pairing and can go beautifully with so many of our blends.
Add a sprinkle of rosemary for an herbaceousness and Pair it with Anurakti Green Tea
Add Lava Lavender Sugar to Sugrisma Summer Masala Chilled Chai, and pair with Lavender Lemon Cake.
P.S. This is a limited edition seasonal blend, so stock up while supplies last. This brew cools you from within. Read more HERE.
If you want to create a real show stopper, make this into a lemon lavender upside-down cake with a stained glass sugar lemon top. It's super quick and easy.
If you are interested in making a unique Lavender late to go with this Lemon Lavender Loaf, check out our recipe for the floral brew HERE.
Today we made this cake using the Trader Joe's Vanilla Poppyseed Cake Mix.
The baking mix is so versatile and can be used with almost any flavor, from Carmel to Blueberry.
- Trader Joe's Vanilla Poppy Cake Mix,
- Eggs, (as per T.J. box)
- Water, (as per T.J. box)
- Butter, (as per T.J. box)
- 1 Lemon,
- The Chai Bar's Lava Lavender Sugar
- Prepare a simple syrup using lava lavender sugar
- Blend ingredients as per instructions on the Trader Joe's box.
- Add lava lavender sugar simple syrup to the mix
- Add a bit of lemon zest.
- For a Lemon upside-down cake, thinly sliced lemon, arrange Lava Lavender sugar, and thinly sliced lemon on a greased baking sheet, before pouring the cake batter over the arrangement.
- Cook as per instructions on the box.
- Once cooked and cooled slightly, flip onto a rack and gently peel off the baking paper to reveal a stained glass lemon lavender top.
- Serve with Lavender whipped cream.
We know Chai and snacks aren't much consolation, but we are trying our best to keep our vibrations up and emotionally support those we love. You do you too, and make sure to check in on yourself daily.
We hope you and your loved ones in the U.S.A. are getting the vaccines if you are eligible to do so. We send love and prayers to our Chai Bar readers and families in India and to the friends and families of all those around the world who are affected by this pandemic.
We love hearing from you. So, if you have any special Chai traditions or recipes you would like to share with us and our readers, comment below, and you might see your tea tradition featured on our social or The Chai Bar Blog.
Eat, Love, Pray,
Sargam Merchant & Madura Chaudhary.