Soaring Ginger Prices Change The Taste Of Kolhapur's Chai

While rising tomato prices have been stealing headlines, ginger has been going through a surge of its own and one of the unfortunate victims of this is Kolhapur’s beloved Adrak Chai. According to a report by the Times Of India, ginger is being sold at ₹ 155 per kg in Kolhapur APMC while it goes as high as ₹ 220 per kg in the retail market.

As a result, local tea vendors have been forced to alter their recipes or remove ginger from their list of ingredients altogether. According to one tea stall owner Somnath Shintre.  "Due to the high prices, many of us had to either reduce the amount of ginger used, raise the price, or find alternative options. These days, I am using cardamom instead of ginger." as per the TOI report.

Aside from the change in taste, customers can also expect smaller portions and raised prices as many vendors switch to cutting chai proportions while raising the price per cup from ₹ 5 to ₹ 8. 

Especially during the monsoons, when a cup of warming masala chai comes as a true lifesaver to many, this is less than happy news but its in a string of many such price bumps that we’ve seen over the last few months thanks to a rocky growing season earlier in the year.

The consecutive heat wave and the unexpectedly intense onset of the monsoons affected much of the crops and tomatoes in particular were hit hard selling for ₹250 per kg and upwards in some areas. In the last few months, we’ve seen the prices climb to staggering amounts with even global franchises like McDonald’s having to drop the vegetable from their menu due to the unavailability of quality produce. 

Cumin was also among the affected crops with Jeera prices reaching almost a 300% increase in some states going from ₹250/kg to ₹850/kg. Green Chillies were similarly affected going for around ₹200 per kg. 

Ginger is an integral part of Indian cuisine and forgoing it is sure to affect more than just the daily consumer with chai being one of the things most people will miss dearly.