Growing up in a typical Punjabi family from Chandigarh, I was and still am always asked to make the “late night” cup of Chai (tea). They sometimes called me “chai-waali” (Female tea seller). My journey with Chai and cooking started early. Sitting on the kitchen surface and watching Granny (my maternal grandmother) cook with utmost ease and efficiency really amazed me. She would cook almost anything within minutes while explaining the importance of certain flavours and also telling me her childhood stories. From the age of 9, I started trying some of the dishes I had seen her making. I would torture my friends with my experiments and sometimes invite them over only when I knew no one was around and I could take over the kitchen. It sometimes went horribly wrong but I still didn’t give up.
Moving to London at the age of 17 brought a different kind of sentiment with it. I knew I was always culinary inclined but this was something different. Being away from home made me want to hold on to what I had experienced growing up. I started going to different Indian restaurants and trying the Masala Chai and food. I learnt about the concept of a “Chai Tea Latte” and quickly realised that the audience here needed to try something more authentic.
Years on with the help and guidance of my family and friends, I have finally managed to take the first step to make my dream come true… a dream of sharing the warmth and flavours of India, not only through our Chai and food but also through our Punjabi hospitality. I welcome you to the Cutting Chai family and hope you enjoy everything you try in our home.
Suleen Kaur xxx
Introducing the Cutting Chai family - Their talents and favourite quotes
Mama - The Mother
- Always finds room for improvement
- Technical maestro - “You must add enough chutney”
- Makes THE MOST AMAZING food
Papa - The Father
- The flavour guru - “Mazaa aa gaya” (I really enjoyed that)
- Pakora (deep fried fritters) specialist
- Checks and advises on the menu
Didi - The Sister
- Marketing pro - “Selling is the key”
- Wears the biggest attractive smile every time she sees a customer
- Her Lamb Biryani is a killer!
Jaskeerat - The Sister
- The designer - always has a new idea
- Food presentation critic
- Recipe contributer
Bhai - The Brother
- The motivator - “Just go for it, what is the problem? Don’t listen to anyone”
- The silent appreciator
Shyla - The soul of Cutting Chai
- Takes orders and manages the finances
- Provides nutritional information - “Do you know how much sugar and fat this has?”
Bruce - The backbone of Cutting Chai
- The strongest member of the family - “I’ll carry it, I’ll take it”
- Provides his non-Indian opinion on all the food
Aarav/ Akrish - The little bosses
- Order a Chai cake every week and eat it with sound effects - “Umm Umm Umm”
- My youngest food critics