Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chai and Bickies

Back when I was living and working in Southern California, I had some very good Indian girlfriends. These are the same girlfriends who showed me the wonders of microwave pappads, mutter paneer, curd rice, and how to make a mean cup of chai. One of my closest friends, my SFAM (Sister From Another Mother), and I would sit around in one of our apartments and gossip over steaming hot cups of milky sweet chai.

My SFAM and I would start our days with hot cups of chai and Parle-G. Parle-G Biscuits, or bickies as SFAM calls them, are sweet, crisp and slightly dry cookies that are eaten all over India and by Indians all over the world. Some people like them straight, some people crush it up and have it with milk, just like cereal, but most have the bickies with chai. We would dunk biscuit after biscuit into cups of chai as we chatted about mutual friends, coworkers, movies, life aspirations, and the mutual convictions and beliefs that made us SFAMs. Chai, for us, was a ritual. We started our get-togethers with a cup of chai and ended our get-togethers with a cup of chai.

Given that those were some of my favorite years, I have a very strong, nostalgic connection to chai. I crave the hot, milky chai and I can indulge my cravings with the chai granules I brought from California. What I cannot make for myself are Parle-G biscuits. Spicy Dog has recently returned from a trip to the states and she brought back with her several packets of bickies for yours truly. I was beyond overjoyed! Now I can have my chai the way chai is supposed to be had - dunked by a bickie.

Thanks to SFAM, well for being my SFAM, and also for introducing me to the perfectly complementary flavors of bickies and chai. Thanks also to SpicyDog for reuniting chai and bickies - the way it's supposed to be.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you like Parle G. Growing up in India we used to eat this with our milk much the same way American kids have Oreos and milk. Parle G is also called Glucose biscuits in India. There are a whole bunch of other dipping cookies in India, or biscuits as they are called there.

    I need to introduce you to Bourbon biscuits. Imagine a chocolate cream sandwich cookie that bravely keeps it's shape even after repeat dunks into a hot beverage. Remind me to get you some the next time I am in Edinburgh. Here is an image: