Savour Oman's favourite tea
May 3, 2017 | 6:51 PM
by Ashish Dubash

At any given time of the day in Muscat you will find rows of cars parked in front of these small shops making you wonder what’s so special in these minimalist cafeterias dotted along the roadsides that draws so many people. And you would be surprised to know that what rules the hearts of people in Muscat is just an inexpensive beverage served in tiny disposable glasses. Welcome to the world of karak chai that has grown in its popularity by leaps and bounds in recent times.

While it has been an integral part of Indian culture where chai is more than just a cup of tea, this thick milky sweet beverage has transcended all boundaries and have made its special place in Oman’s tea map.

People from different nationalities visit these tea shops primarily for karak chai but are also catered to other delights like coffees, lattes, snacks, rakhal, and more. All you need to do is stop at one of the stalls and quench your thirst for tea for just few baisas.

Sweet and flavourful, these milky tea are not only soothing but spirit lifting too. Making a cuppa of karak is an art by itself but it isn’t difficult either. Mix a teaspoon of loose black tea and crushed cardamom in a pan of boiling water and boil for a couple of minutes to let the flavours seep in. Add warm milk till the tea gets a creamy brown colour. Add sugar to your taste and boil for some more time. Serve piping hot. While this is the regular way of savouring your favourite cuppa of karak chai, there are variations in making this tea and one can tweak it according to one’s taste and preference. From cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and cloves to ginger, nutmeg, and saffron, there are various ways to make karak chai. In some places they add biscuits or Ovaltine too to get a richer flavour. Available 24x7 in many shops, karak chai is undoubtedly the new heartthrob in town. — [email protected]

Get your daily dose of karak chai

- Tea Corner in Qurum, Al Khuwair, and Seeb. It has many outlets all over. The karak chai here is not very strong. It is a bit on the sweeter side. Open till midnight.

- Karak Chai. It has branches all over Muscat. The one in CBD next to BP Petrol Pump has fixed tables and benches and serves a lot of things like its other branches.

- Masala tea at Feast at East in Rex Road. The tea is very flavourful with its spices.

- Nectar Tea corner at Darsait.

- Tea Time in Seeb is open for 24 hours.

- Tea Palace in Maabela.

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