Chai Pe Charcha: In India, Chai Time Is A Rusky Affair
- Jasmine Kaur
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
Indians and their chai are inseparable. What often looks like a lazy tea time is actually a really charged session. From the nukkad wala chai ki tapri to evening teas in the verandah, there’s a lot of chit-chat and as they say Chai pe Charcha during this time. One thing that has remained constant throughout these chai sessions is the rusk.
This loved tea companion of India that dunked a few many cups in UK, Africa and Iran too. Cookies, biscuits and the like have come and gone but the rusk has stayed. Over the years, the shape and taste may have changed but the essence of that small rusk ka tukda is still alive.
Following The Persian Footsteps
As Indian as it may look and feel due to its deep-rooted association in our routine, we’ve found it’s true origins in Persia and Greece. While some say that Persians of the 7th century discovered the traditional rusk recipe, it was a Greek byzantine baker Paxamos that has been accredited with making the first piece of this robust bread.
The Idea Of Convenience
Rusk was believed to be invented in order to save women the trouble of kneading bread frequently. This twice-baked hard bread was a non-perishable item and could be easily stored throughout the year. The Oxford dictionary suggests that it was a great way to sustain the army and sailors at the sea.
The Traditional Rusk Or The Modern-day Biscuit
The rusk has taken several forms, from cake rusk that is a lot softer and sweeter than the original one or the Italian biscotti. A mix of eggs, sugar and butter can never go wrong, whether hard or soft, crunchy or moist. You can find a variety of fruit-flavoured rusk on the shelves today to suit your tastes.
However, we doubt anything can beat the first bite of rusk dipped in chai. Careful, or your worst fear might come true: rusk drops in the cup.