Breakfast With Chai: 10 Dishes To Pair With Your Morning Tea
Image Credit: Chai can be paired with a variety of snacks | Unsplash

In India, the aroma of a hot cup of tea, commonly known as "chai," wafts through the air each morning, welcoming the start of a new day. Tea is an integral part of our culture and pairs exceptionally well with a variety of traditional breakfast dishes. From sweet to savoury, these delightful Indian breakfast options not only complement the flavours of chai but also provide a strong start to your day.

If you are one of those who cannot start or end their breakfast without a steaming cup of tea, we have six mouthwatering Indian breakfast dishes that are a match made in heaven when paired alongside garam chai.


A quintessential Indian breakfast treat, the samosa is a delicious and savoury pastry filled with spiced potatoes and peas. The crispy, golden exterior perfectly contrasts with the soft, spicy filling. The combination of chai's warm spices and the spiciness of the samosa creates a combination everyone loves. Dip the samosa in tangy tamarind chutney or mint-coriander chutney and enjoy the fun interplay of textures and tastes as you sip your morning chai.


While many prefer idli alongside filter coffee, a cup of chai, idli-coconut chutney, and your favourite newspaper can be a blissful trio in the morning! The subtle and comforting taste of idli pairs wonderfully with the aromatic masala tea, creating a combination that's refreshing. Dip the idli in the creamy coconut chutney and drink your chai; it will just be the perfect day from this point on.


Recipe - Diet Recipes By Dt.Natasha Mohan

Poha, a traditional breakfast dish from Maharashtra, is made from flattened rice flakes sautéed with mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander. This light and filling dish is both comforting and delicious, making it an ideal accompaniment to a cup of chai. The mild spiciness of the poha enhances the richness of the tea, creating a nice blend of tastes that's sure to brighten your morning.


For those times when you do not have the time to cook an elaborate meal early in the morning, just take out a couple of methi mathri from your snack shelf and pair them up with tea to have a fuss-free yet completely satisfying breakfast experience. This is a tried-and-tested breakfast combination that is delicious and takes 10 minutes from start to finish!


For those who have grown up in Bengali households, muri with cha is a combination they are well-versed in. A little mustard oil, fried onion, and chopped green chillies are added to the muri, or puffed rice, and it is enjoyed with cha first thing in the morning. A dash of nostalgia is all that you need to enjoy the perfect breakfast.


Recipe - Chef Ranveer Brar

Upma, another popular South Indian breakfast choice, is made from semolina or sooji cooked with vegetables, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dal. This dish is easy to prepare and offers a textbook contrast to the sweetness of chai. Upma is a little dry on its own, without chai or chutney. So, pairing it with the latter makes it a balanced and filling morning meal.


For those with a sweet tooth and pancakes not being sweet enough, Jalebi is just the right dessert that easily doubles as a breakfast indulgence. This deep-fried sweet treat is made by fermenting a batter of flour and curd, which is then soaked in sugar syrup. The crispy and syrupy jalebis harmonise beautifully with the soothing chai, and if you add in some fafda, you have a breakfast meal that most households in Gujarat love and have several times a week!

Tchot or Girda

Tchot is a traditional Kashmiri bread option that pairs wonderfully with Kashmiri Noon Chai. When the morning chills start to hit, it is best to enjoy this delicious combination. Very popular amongst Kashmiri people, tchot is soft on the inside with a slightly crisp outer layer, which softens when dipped in tea. It has a subtle sweetness that complements the savoury flavours of the Noon Chai.

Bun Maska

A classic combination, bun maska with Irani chai, is one of the most comforting breakfast experiences. Soft, flaky bread with butter lathered onto it is the perfect partner for a piping hot cup of kadak Irani chai. Only those who have tried the combo at Irani cafes in Mumbai and Hyderabad know what the actual hype about this pairing is.


A dose of nostalgia awaits you as you try to dip your delicious, flaky parathe into the hot, cutting chai in your hands. The paratha becomes a little soft, and a few droplets of tea start to fall. You open your mouth to taste this combination, which has just two popular opinions amongst people: either they absolutely love it or they do not at all! If you fall into the former category, you know there is nothing that can top this humble combination.