This is a love story.
It's about a girl travelling in India all alone, carrying her world on her back, adventure in her spirit... and leaving a little piece of her heart there when she returned home.
At first it wasn't an easy love. India didn't always seem to love her back. She could be harsh and crushing and cruel. Her streets swarmed, her heat suffocated, her people seemed broken and unsmiling. There were times when she took and she took and she took until the girl felt she had nothing more to give.
A time came when India began to give. She spoke to the girls soul and opened her arms up to her, showed her stars that were bigger than she'd ever seen before, purple skies, bustling bazzars and crumbling temples, eventual smiles from her people, not all broken but beautifully spiritual and inspiring.
It was in these moments the girl knew she had lost that small part of her heart there forever.
The backdrop to this love story is tea.
I cannot think of India without my mind conjuring the heady and intoxicating scent of hot bubbling chai that infused every street corner, every train journey, every chai wallah's canteen.
Sweet and spicy, lip-burningly hot and buffalo-milky. It came in plastic cups, small glasses, clay pots and china.
Instead of footprints I left discarded tea vessels in my map across India.
My heart squealed when this pin showed me how to make my own authentic chai tea.
All of the ingredients can be found right here in Korea's Homeplus and the cardamom in Itaewon's International food mart,
3. Cinnamon stick
4. Cardamom pods
6. Black tea bag
7. Black peppercorns
Go ahead and give yourself a special treat this week and follow this recipe.
One sip of this delicious infusion of sweets and spices and it will transport you to India by proxy.
Thank you sweet chai for letting my Indian love story continue!
edit: I've been informed that adding a Bay Leaf in with the above ingredients which will add a little more dimension to the flavour. Thanks Darren for the tip!!