Friday, March 22, 2013

Chai and A Giveaway

Chai
Summer afternoons would be commonly spent with the uncles crowded around the television watching cricket matches and aunties busy in the kitchen gossiping and sending out pots and pots of chai and glucose biscuits. We kids would only get to eat the biscuits. On a lucky day, a kind aunty would fry us some samosas or pakoras. But chai? Nope! "Kids don't drink chai" mummy would reply with a gentle tap on the back of our head. That's the memory that chai brings for me or sometimes it takes me back to those monsoons.
The ones where we would be sitting under a tin shade in front of the tea stall outside our college building. Rain would be pouring and we would all be half drenched in water, shivering with cold. A glass of hot masala chai tucked tightly between our palms, breathing in the aroma of cardamom and ginger we would slowly be sipping away that chai warming ourselves from inside. Chemistry practicals, latest fashion, secret crushes and disastrous dates, everything would be discussed over "one cutting" (a term commonly referred to half a cup of chai in India). For Indians chai isn’t just a beverage; it’s also a way of cherishing the simple things in life, and an excuse to bring people together and celebrate the present.

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Chai commonly served in Indian homes is not as milky as the ones you find at the coffee shops across North America, popularly known as "chai tea" or "chai latte". There's an interesting article Manisha Pandit wrote on chai and titled it as "Drop the Tea; its already there in your Chai". This post made me giggle and talks about a few misconceptions people have about their greatly loved Indian chai. Give it a read!
Masala chai is an essential part of life in India, where having a cup or two (or maybe three) of chai in the morning is akin to brushing your teeth every day. I still think there is still no "recipe" to a right chai masala, in order to make a masala chai. Chai masala, Masala chai?! Confused? Well, Chai masala is a blend of spices used to make a spiced tea which is called Masala chai in Hindi.
The spice preference in a masala chai recipe varies from family to family and from person to person, but some of the most common spices used in a masala chai are ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and nutmeg. Either mix all these spices in equal quantity, adjust the amount according to your taste or just pick a few of your choice. I personally like mine with ginger only and sometimes with cardamom. Towards the end of this blog post I have shared a recipe to my favorite Ginger and Cardamom Chai. 

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But before that I have to tell you about a company called Gitadini. Its a small company started by a husband wife duo who design and sell original housewares, home decor and furnishings. As a food blogger you are approached by companies and brands on a daily basis with offers to try their product and talk about them. I am normally very hesitant at saying yes because I have a strict set of rules that I follow, one of which being not talking to my readers about things that I don't stand behind 100%. So a couple of months back when nice people at Gitadini approached me you might understand why I was reluctant. After being assured that there's no commitment I agreed to try their product. I tried, tested and have been using them for the past two months and I think now I am at a place where I can say that yes I am happy with all the products.
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Along with home decor and furnishing, Gitadini also has a small but interesting line of kitchenware. I was impressed by their modern take on the traditional Indian kitchen quintessential and also at their usability. I made sure I used all the products enough before I talk about them. I can say by their usability that it shows it has been designed by someone who has been in and around Indian kitchen for a while. I personally loved the ones displayed here in this post.

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Gitadini was kind enough to giveaway any featured product of their choice to one lucky reader of Indian Simmer. In the comments section below please tell me which product you would want to try. Choose from Rotito Rolling Board Set,  Medium Saucepan or Yin Yang Storage Bin. This giveaway is open till April 1st 11:59 pm PST. On April 2nd I will randomly select a winner and announce on the blog.

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Alright lets get to the recipe for Ginger Cardamom Chai, the kind that I make in my kitchen.

Ingredients: serves 4
3 cups water
3/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)
3 teaspoons loose darjeeling black tea (or can also use 3-4 black tea bags)
4-5 teaspoons sugar (the family prefers dark brown sugar and I like honey.)
3/4-1 tablespoon tablespoon fresh grated or crushed ginger
2 smashed cardamom pods

Method:
In a medium sized saucepan heat water on stove top.
Add sugar and tea. Let the water come to a boil. Then turn the heat to medium and add milk.
Let it cook for 3-5 minutes or until the white froth of milk on top settles down.
Add ginger and cardamom. Cover the saucepan with a tight lid, turn the heat off and let the flavors steep into the chai for 3-5 minutes
Using a strainer strain out the tea, ginger and cardamom out of your chai.
Transfer into tea cups and serve steaming hot with some glucose biscuits!

Entry to this giveaway has been closed.

126 comments:

  1. Every time I read your post, I feel like I am back home :) Lovely products and very thoughtfully designed! Very difficult to pick which one I would love to win, but since I have to pick one, it would be the spice storage box :)

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  2. Well I'm sure I won't be eligible for the giveaway, but just want to say your afternoon chai story is very captivating. Its like elevenses !

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  3. A delightful beverage! So fragrant and delicious.

    That is such a great giveaway. I particularly like that Yin Yang storage box...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. the products look amazing. Given a choice i would love to win the yin yang storage bin

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  5. oooh I have been eyeing that rotito chappati rolling board set! I use and enjoy the Gitadini saucepan and can attest that it is indeed thoughtfully designed. I reach for it often :) Your writing always instantly transports me into your home!

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  6. the chai looks gr8 and also the products featured here..I would love to own a Yin Yang Storage bin :)

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  7. yet another unexpected post :) well will you be interested in sending the giveaway to UK ;) :P. I loved that Yin yang spice box.. I think a must have in my kitchen is always a spice box...

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  8. Wow, chai looks great and a great way to make it.
    I would like to have the Gitadini Saucepan. Looks great and elegant.

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  9. I need to try this recipe!
    I would love to win the Medium Saucepan, but I imagine it's just for US residents!
    Ary

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  10. I always follow your posts with pleasure and I can not give a comment today with these beautiful products you offer =). I like very much Rotito Rolling Board Set, it would be nice to have a chance 'to prove it! See you soon and sorry my english!

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  11. All the products look amazing.. I think i will stick to the Yin Yang storage bin!!

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  12. Can't wait to try this recipe! I would love to win the Yin Yang storage bin!

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  13. I'd love to win the Ying Yang Storage Bin! Gorgeous!

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  14. I would love to try the sauce pan, however do you think it will work well with loose tea versus a tea bag?

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  15. I would like the medium sauce pan, mostly because I struggle making my own tea and then straining it properly. I really do emjoy reading your post, I'm glad I found you,

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  16. Dear Prerna,

    thank you so much for this lovely post reviewing our GitaDini products. What beautiful pictures! It is amazing to read all these positive comments about our products, we feel very blessed! Good luck to everyone entering the giveaway. We'll be hosting a special Holi Flash Sale next week and an Easter giveaway. If you are interested, follow us on Facebook for more details: http://www.facebook.com/GitaDiniUSA

    Christina/GitaDini

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  17. The rotito rolling board set is something I would love to try-hopefully to inspire me to make roti everyday!

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  18. I would really enjoy the Medium Saucepan, chai is one of my favorite beverages! BTW - Your blog is wonderful!

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  19. I'd like to win the Medium Saucepan. I'm sure I'd use it a lot.

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  20. The medium saucepan. I love Chai Tea and your recipe sounds devine.

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  21. would love to win ying yang storage bin for my masale...:)

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  22. I love chai so much, and have found my own recipe that is superb! But I would love to win the Yin Yang Storage Bin, to hold my spices!!!

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  23. Great post! Lots of useful info and I absolutely love your photography :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  24. i loved the way you pictured for them...cup of chai is indian fav :)
    i would love to go for yin yan storage bin for one reason - My spices are tasty but they will look more beautiful stored in them ;)

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  25. Chai! Yes, we can wax eloquent about this wonderful beverage chockful of tannins and some caffeine. Nothing quite compares to it. I'm happy to have made you giggle ;-)

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  26. i would love to try the saucepan. Love your recipes

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  27. How wonderful, so soothing just to look at let alone imbibe. Chai masala, Masala chai?! Confused no more! Thank you.

    Isn't that straining pot just the cleverest thing.

    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

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  28. Prerna,

    I can picture myself sitting and sipping away at some masala chai tea..
    Can I also apply for the giveaway ;) that saucepan is awesome.

    Abha

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  29. Would love love the medium saucepan. I did buy a copy of your slow cooker book and it was treat Prerna! Tried the chana dal with the paneer. Cannot wait to try a few more of them. Thanks a bunch for the recipes.
    Namrata Naidu

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  30. Prerna,

    Lovely post and very nice giveaway, I would love to win the ying yang storage bin. I love the sauce pan too. Nice products

    Sowmya

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  31. i would love that sauce pan :) my parents never let me chai either but in college-it was our way to get together and talk..now I am 'adult' enough to share it with parents and its always precious. Loved this post. Heading over to read another chai article you mentioned.

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  32. I would love to win the Yin Yang storage tin...actually any one of those prizes would be awesome!!

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  33. You just took me back to my parents house.... a thermos of hot tea is always on table... my mom still says that tea addiction is better than fast food or sugar addiction n honestly I can never deny. ..
    Im too loving the storage dabba.... really chic designs
    My fingers are crossed. . Anything will be just great if I win. ..

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  34. That Yin Yang storage tin is so gorgeous! Beautiful photos Prerna, the ubiquitous chai so well showcased! It looks completely exotic.

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  35. I've been scouring antique and consignment shops for something like the Rotito Rolling Board Set to no avail. This one is great!

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  36. Oh what a lovely post. I am such a chai lover myself, this is refreshing, especially those memories from back home, we dwell on those things, don't we? I love the idea of this giveaway, I would make use of the medium saucepan.. would make a lovely cup of chai :)

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  37. I think there is nothing wrong in endorsing a product if it is genuine.The yang yang storage bin look like a contemporary masala dabba.

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  38. I always like my chai with Ginger, Cardamom and Black Pepper. I would love to get my hands on the medium sauce pan.

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  39. Love to win that Rotito Rolling Board Set...perfect for my kitchen

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  40. Loved reading your post. I didn't know that you are giving away the storage bin and thought I will ask you about it. I was impatient and thought about it the moment I saw the picture. I am also a ginger tea person. Too many spice is not for me. May be I am yet to try the best masala tea.

    I would love to have the spice storage bin.

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  41. I would be happy with any of these but if I have to choose I would pick the medium sauce pan; thanks.

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  42. Ah Chai! And considering I'm a 'tea'-totaller, I felt nostalgic thinking about the warm little beverage that I just had a couple of hours ago! :)

    A sauce pan with a little strainer is nice to have I guess! :)

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  43. I would love to win that Yin Yang storage tin! Though it's a tough decision between that and the roti making set!

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  44. Chai and Parle-G biscuits or Marie or Nice or Khari, oh my! so many options with just one cup chai!
    The saucepan looks so good! I can think of making not just chai, but also ghee in it.

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  45. i know I would have fun with this prize pack! mmmmm, chai tea right about now sounds SO good! I miss a good cup of it and have spent the past two years desperately seeking someone who knew how to make it! Keep up the good work, love the recipes

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  46. I would like to win that storage bin,As I am looking for one ,wanting to have one.

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  47. Thank you for the beautiful capture of the most famous beverage from east ! I can share it with my friends now :)

    And a wonderful introduction to GitaDini products. I would love to try the medium saucepan as it is much needed in my house. As I use this product I'm likely to order the storage bin as gifts this year :)

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  48. Ginger-elachi tea is my fav to drink on the weekends. My mom had me try kali-mirch tea & that was really good too. Since I am still learning how to make good soft rotis like my mom i think that set would get used alot in my house. Thanks.

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  49. My day really starts with chai tea lolz..I enjoy calling it chai tea..I loved the yin-yang spice tin..

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  50. Our chai recipe is quite different from this but like you said there is no one recipe for a cup of chai. Cheers!
    I like the Rotito Set :)

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  51. I would absolutely love to have the Yin Yang spice tin. Mmmm, chai is the best thing to warm you inside out!

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  52. I absolutely love everything about Gitadini! So innovation. If I had to pick, it would be the saucepan. Who would've thought of putting a strainer as well. Genius :)

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    Replies
    1. I'd love to win that rolling board. I miss chai so much. I haven't found a decent Indian chai in america.

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  53. I coveted the spice bin as soon as I saw it and the 2 little scoops fit neatly into each side.

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  54. I would love that saucepan! It looks so cool!

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  55. janepatience@yahoo.comMarch 22, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    What a hard choice! I think the rolling board set would be my first choice. Very very clever. I like the straining pot as well.

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  56. Those products are fantastic. :) Now I need to make a cup of chai tea. :)

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  57. The products look fab!!! Rotito Rolling Board Set is my first choice.

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  58. I have long wanted a masala dabba, so the yin yang box particularly appeals to me, as does your delicious-sounding chai recipe!

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  59. Cannot imagine my life without Chai. I make mine with lots of Ginger, Cloves and Pepper. It has cured many a headaches for me. The saucepan looks like a good sized pan for my chai and the Yin Yang Spice bin a second favorite to store all my spices.

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  60. Nice post ............. i would like to win the yin yan spice bin.............

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. I would love to have the YinYang storage box so that I could store more spices than the usual chili, turmeric, coriander powder, etc; it would be great to also have easily at hand whole garam masala -- cardamom, clove, cinnamon -- peppercorns, and more dals for seasoning South Indian dishes.

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  63. lovely beverage! i would like the Yin and Yang storage box.

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  64. Everytime I read your stories it brings back fond memories Prerna. Absolutely love it.

    And I don't know which one to choose I love them all. Gitadini, you rock!!

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  65. Lovely Post!!...felt nostalgic
    I would love to win the Yin Yang spice box.

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  66. I stumbled upon your blog ...simply just like that ...n guess what..I loved your chai presentation...the chalk board with ingredients were one of the favorites...as I was browsing n rolling along with your masala chai.. The rolling pin caught my eye..n I said..ooooo that's stylish...n then I saw the yin yan..masala box...
    Trust me gitadini is my next website browse after yours...you have added a new follower today..ardently following you,,,ambika..a foodie who love to eat n drool at recipes n kitchen shows...

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  67. I love chai! Great post. I'd love the Yin Yang Storage Set.

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  68. I love the small saucepan with the built-in strainer - perfect for simmering chai!

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  69. i love masala chai...so if i were too choose, i would opt for the saucepan. Thank you! Sally

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  70. Way too many memories on chai. I would opt for the rolling pin, have not found a good set yet for chappathis

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  71. I would like to win the Yin Yang Storage Set. I enjoyed your post on Chai, and will attempt to make some of my own. It sounds yummy. Thanks.

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  72. I liked the ginger and cardamom tea as i luv them as simple and original!! never tasted this combo bfre... sometimes a simple of a recipe cud help many..

    Ongoing Event- Mummy Ka Magic

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. Whether I win it or not, I'd love to have any of the products mentioned above. But, my special favorite is the YinYang Storage Box. Oh! Gosh! I'm drooling over it.... :-) Please let me know how to procure it any which way!

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  75. Thank you for the delicious recipe that I have successfully made twice by now...love the aroma of cardamom and the warmth it renders to chai...

    As for the generous giveaway-- I'd love to try the medium saucepan. I can imagine how many delicious curries and dahls I could make in it!

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  76. I love, love, love your new cookbook!!! All I can say is that I am so thrilled that you finally wrote a cook book and I can not wait for more books to come.
    Your recipes have made my first year of marriage a breeze when it came to cooking in the kitchen as I use your reciepes from your blog to make amazing dishes. So thank you!
    If I had to choose one of the give aways, I would propbably choose the sauce pan with strainer as I make Masala tea everyday. I can't wait to try your recipe on your blog for your Chai tea. Thank you!!

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  77. I am a first time visitor - so happy to see your chai recipe - my bff is indian and she introduced me to chai many years ago and I love it.

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  78. Chai time is the most awaited time of the day. I have a friend here and we both love to have our masala chai with some monaco biscuits and chat up for hours, pouring out more cups of tea...I am planning to try out your peach gujiyas with figs for Holi. Love your recipes. I guess this giveaway is only for US residents, if not, I'd love that ying yang spice bin !

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  79. Thanks Prerna for creating such a beautiful blog. I have just returned from India after visiting my family and as you well know, Chai is the most and sometimes the critical part of all social interactions there. And the generous giveaway drives it home so beautifully.
    I would love the medium saucepan, after all who can say no to a spicy simmered chai straight from the pan.

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  80. Came across your blog today & have been awestruck ever since. I live in India, but have a US address where things can get shipped to! Yay! I love the Yin yang storage bin & the saucepan. But I think the 2-Quart Medium Saucepan is what I'd end up really using I think! Once again, love your blog!

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  81. Wow, great post. I would like the Gitadini Saucepan, please. Looks great and elegant. Thanks, Shefalika

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  82. Heyy, I just stumbled upon ur blog, its gr8 !! Wud love to have chai straight from the saucepan

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  83. I LOOOOVE the Yin Yang Storage Bin. Its adorable and yet so practical.

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  84. I would love to win the Rotito Rolling Board Set.

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  85. I love the yin yang storage box.

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  86. I loved the rolling board set, its one item I need in my kitchen. Thank you

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  87. Wonderful post and even more wonderful products...I thought such eye candy was available only abroad...I love the storage box for its unique shape and larger capacity than an ordinary masala dabba...Just the thing to add zing to my kitchen!

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  88. Hi,
    I liked the yin yan storage box and would definitely like to try it.

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  89. Beautiful pictures Prerna! That first one is simple yet classy.
    Lovely giveaway. It would be the yin-yang dabba for me :)

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  90. Beautiful Post. I loved all the products and I would like to win the Rotito Rolling Board set- Aparna

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  91. I love a cup of ginger chai every morning! I would love to get the saucepan if i win this giveaway.

    Priti

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  92. Loved the presentation. The products look lovely. I would love to have the yin-yang storage box..

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  93. Yin Yang spice bin for the win!

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  94. This is such a nice blog.... Will be on my Favorite bar from now on.... I love the Gitadini Saucepan

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  95. First time here and loved the space...Your new follower now...

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  96. Looks great! There are so many variations to chai. Be sure to check out the cheesy garlic bread I have posted, I love the salt-sweet combination as a snack to go along chai...so good!

    xo Vinni @ masala & missoni

    masalaandmissoni.wordpress.com

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  97. Came to know about this blog as one of the best indian food blogs...
    Nice chai...I love all the products but the best is the rotito rolling board set....

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  98. Makes me want to have a cup of chai right now! I love the ying yang spice storage set. Such a pleasant design and will look much better than my circular one.

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  99. My morning always start with a cup of chai... love the rolling board pin

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  100. Very educational - now I know, I like chai because it's tea! Like the Yin & Yang storage bin

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  101. I have the other two, but would love to have the Rotito Rolling Board Set

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  102. You can take the chai out of the masala, but you can't take the masala out of the chai! Yin Yang Storage Bin #ftw!! :)

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  103. Your blog reminds me so much of my mom and my house growing up, I love it!
    Tea time is one of my favorite times of the day, thanks for sharing this!
    A medium sauce pan would be great :)

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  104. Saucepan please. Thanks Kiran.

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  105. I'd have to choose the Rotito Rolling Board Set! I'd love to try my hand at homemade flat breads.

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  106. Wow so tempting Masala chai is my most favorite one! Wow amazing giveaway!!! Loved it all :) Would like to win!!!!I am currently in the US.Would like to get masala spice box :)

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  107. regular visitor to your blog. Love the chai.... Would like to get the yin yang storage bin

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  108. medium saucepan would be great for my father in law! He makes his own chai

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  109. Rotito Rolling Board Set would be great, Can't wait to make this chai, sounds much simpler than my usual recipe

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  110. rotito rolling board set would be useful for me

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  111. I would love to try the rotito rolling board. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  112. I would love to try the rotito rolling board. What an interesting company with cool products.

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  113. Love the ying yang storage bin set :)

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  114. I love all three, but the medium saucepan with the built in strainer reminds me of something I saw in a museum and thought, "I really need one of those. I wonder if someone clever still makes them?"

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  115. I love the blog post. Would love to have the rotito rolling board set if I had to choose.
    Your pictures, as always, are great!

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  116. Aaah new layout is there n looks like I am visiting your place after long time... it looks beautiful. The color of banner n the design, very inviting.

    Gitadini, hearing lot about it lately through bloggers. Would love to browse thru their products and in case if I win, would like to have a spice box!

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  117. Be it a simple chai or an elaborate dish, your recipes and posts are always a delight.Would love to win the saucepan :-)

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  118. Hey Prerna, I think I will love to win storage bin!

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  119. These products look wonderfully fresh, modern, and practical! I would love to try for the Rotito Rolling Board Set.

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  120. I would like any of them...but perhaps the rotito rolling board set would be my first pick.

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  121. Lovely clicks Prerna! Just lovely!! Your images are truly inspiring!

    Cheers!
    Supriya

    Consultant by day, Blogger at night!
    Visit my blog at http://aalayaminspiration.blogspot.com/
    The online landmark for India inspired décor, culture & cuisine ideas!

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  122. I think good is one of the best and excellent options to manage healt. Such as also Butter Chicken tandoori Pizza is another example of perfect fusion of Indian and Italian recipes and ingredients. So these things brings changing in the body.

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  123. I loved the pictures Prerna. Specially of the yin yang box!
    Loved your website. Truly inspiring.

    Shobha

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