A Sip in Time: India’s Finest Teas and Teatime Treats

Chef, author and television show host Pallavi Nigam Sahai completed her culinary education from International School of Italian Cuisine, Italy. But it is Indian food and Indian kitchen that is her top priority. his first book, Bhojpuri Kitchen One of the lesser known dishes of India brought to light.

Collection of over 60 recipes to make with Indian tea

his second book a sip in time An interesting collection of ‘India’s finest tea and tea time treats’. It started with his research for tea time breakfast recipes preferred in different parts of India, which led him to a tea stewardship course in Guwahati, Assam to learn about tea, its many varieties, processing, etc. inspired to join. According to him, it gave him an interesting insight into the world of tea. “I learned why sweet tea is best paired with salty snacks and black tea is fond of sublime sweet snacks,” she said. He then toured the entire country to understand the art and science of the tea making process. This book is a collection of stories, anecdotes and recipes that he collected during his travels.

How did you get attracted to the world of food?

My mother is an enthusiastic and excellent cook. My grandfather was there too. Hence, the discussion of tea time at home mostly revolved around the food. They would often discuss recipes, menus, or what they were going to cook for lunch or dinner on that particular day. I have grown up listening to them enthusiastically analyze the food they have cooked or eaten somewhere.

In fact, if my mom loved a particular dish, whether it was at a party or someone’s house, she would never leave without asking for the recipe. So, I think a lot of it was ingrained in me and I developed an interest in trying my hand at the kitchen long back.

However, the opportunities were few as my mother took over the cooking at home.

But when I entered college and lived in a hostel, I would often cook for myself and my friends.

It started as a hobby. But slowly I realized that my life revolves around food. My diaries in which I planned meals for the week, recipe books, magazines and myriad pieces of paper on which I wrote down recipes I received from other people became mainstays of my life. So I adopted the one I’ve always loved and will continue to love for the rest of my life.

Were you already a chef when you attended the International School of Italian Cuisine? How was the experience there?

I joined school with the intention of being more proficient in cooking and eating. To explore the other side of cooking as opposed to cooking at home – restaurants. But like the Alchemist’s Santiago, who, as soon as he reaches his destination, discovers that the treasure was buried where he began his journey, after finishing school, I realized that the best cooking My mother cooks for us, the daily meals we have at home.

However, meeting people from different countries and cultures at the International School of Italian Cuisine gave me a wider understanding of the importance of food in people’s lives. After school, we would sit and talk about the food, the pleasures, the comforts, and the excitement it brought to everyone’s life. Sharing this knowledge was a valuable lesson for me.

Which is your culinary area of ​​choice?

Indian, Baking, Middle Eastern. in that order.


Your first book was about Bhojpuri food. What inspired you to explore this relatively lesser known cuisine of India?

i am from bhopal [Madhya Pradesh] And I am married in a family of Bihar. Learning about Bihari cuisine and cooking it was also a way to connect with my new family. Plus, I loved what my mother-in-law cooked for us, or what we ate when we visited our relatives. And I followed in my mother’s footsteps by soliciting recipes for the dish I enjoyed. So my diary was full of Bihar cuisine. The book is a formal presentation of the collected recipes.

You’ve been writing recipes for national publications on television shows, host shows, etc. What inspired you to take the tea sommelier course?

To get acquainted with the nuances of tea making and drinking, the only way to get to know tea better was to follow a Tea Sommelier course. This helped me a lot to understand the taste of tea, hence, I was able to combine tea with food recipes in a better way. In the early stages, I wanted to write food recipes that would complement the tea. So I planned to write it while sitting at my desk. But as soon as I started working on the recipes, I realized I needed to get to know tea better, so I joined the tea course.


Your second book is about tea and tea snacks that can be enjoyed all over India. Would it have taken a lot of travel for this?

During the Tea Sommelier course I got to know about the various indigenous tea cultures of India, some still practiced by ethnic minorities living in remote areas of North-East India.

I also came to know about how tea was discovered in India and also came to know about the first tea flourished in India. Did you know that it is still made in the same way by an ethnic minority in Upper Assam known as Singpho?

When someone finds interesting facts about a topic they’re working on, you obviously don’t go home without seeing them yourself. So I extended my visit and visited those regions and ethnic minorities to learn more about their traditional ways, especially how they make their tea. Meeting him helped me understand the subject that helped me write the book.

The book is a wonderful collection of recipes. How did you decide which dishes to include and which to leave out? Have you tested all the recipes, and modified them if necessary?

I only included those recipes that have been and are a part of my life. The recipes in this book have long been a part of my family’s tea hour and have therefore stood the test of time. That’s why each of them comes up with their own story.

More books on the anvil?

I am currently working on a ‘cookbook’ that can be part of people’s daily life.


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