About 48 kilometres to the northeast of Udaipur, along the banks of the Banas river, is the ancient city of Nathdwara. In addition to the picturesque Aravali hills that cover most of the city’s topography, Nathdwara is also renowned for the Shrinathji temple, a shrine dedicated to Shrinath Ji, who was believed to be a seven-year-old ‘infant’ incarnation of Lord Krishna in the 14th century. The locals of Mathura and Vrindavan first worshipped the deity up until the 17th century, when the locals felt a threat to the shrine due to Mughal King Aurangzeb. To protect the idol, they tried transferring it somewhere safe. As per legends, when the idol reached the village of Silhad or Sinhad, the bullock cartwheels sank in the mud and could not be moved further, which led people to believe that this was indeed a site chosen by God himself. Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar took responsibility for the shrine’s protection. ‘Nathdwara’ literally translates to ‘Gateway to God’. Nathdwara’s artists, whose paintings have a profound influence on the Rajasthani style of painting called Pachwai, are also significant contributors to the rich culture and heritage of the city. Speaking of the city's heritage, can the discussion be complete without the mention of food? 

Nathdwara’s food, much like a big chunk of Rajasthan, is dependent on seasonal and local produce. The food is famously spicy; not many legumes or leafy greens can be found on this side of the region due to limited vegetation. However, there are plenty of signature delicacies to look forward to, for instance, the ever-so-refreshing Nathdwara tea.

What is so special about the tea? Well, it is brewed the same way you make chai at home. No special tools or vessels are required into making this milky beverage either, so why should you stop by at one of the many chai ki tapri that line the central city? It is because of the particular ingredient rejuvenating you in many avatars over many years. 

Mint or Pudina is the secret ingredient of Nathdwara tea that makes us come to this beverage again and again. Chai, in itself, is the energy booster; we need to kickstart the day, and if it comes with a kick of mint? Can you imagine the effect? 

Why imagine when you can recreate the same magic at home. Here’s a fabulous recipe with which you can make Nathdwara tea at home. 

  1.  Bring 250 ml of water to a boil. In about a minute, add 1 tsp of tea. Let it steep for another minute. 
  2. Add one-inch-thick ginger, grate it and add it to the pot. Let the tea brew for 2 minutes. 
  3. Now add 250 ml milk. Stir the milk in so that everything is mixed well. Keep the flame medium to high. Brew for about 3 minutes 
  4. Add 5-6 small sprigs of mint and let it cook for 20-30 seconds more for the flavours to steep. Meanwhile, also add the sugar as per your liking. 
  5. Take a strainer. Strain the tea in a glass and sip. 
  6. The tea is ideal for the chilly weather and is replete with many healing benefits too. However, make sure you do not cook mint for too long; else, your tea may turn bitter.