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Robyn, I love the picture of the guy beckoning everyone in! And I'm one of those who choke on the 'malai' in chai.


Manisha - is 'malai' the solidified milk blobs? I love them ... but our friend 'S' fished hers out before drinking her tea.


Malai is the cream that rises to the top when you boil milk (esp milk that is not homogenized). In India, most folks buy just enough milk to last through one day and it must be boiled before it is consumed. This is a fallout of inefficient distribution systems, weather, inadequate refrigeration, etc. Rich milk, when boiled and then cooled, will develop a thick layer of cream floating at the top. We use this to make homemade butter. The cream is set aside and mixed with a yogurt culture. After a week or so's worth of collection, it is churned by hand (or in the blender) to give a nice yummy chunk of white butter and buttermilk. We drink the buttermilk by itself or it is used in cooking.

To go back to the malai, if the milk is not strained as it is added, you get bits of the cream in your mouth. If the milk is rich to begin with, every time it is boiled, you will get some malai separating from the milk. We have a lot of sweet dishes that are made from malai. Those I can tolerate but not malai floating in my tea or milk.

What type of milk do you get in Malaysia? In India it is predominantly buffalo milk, which my daughter refuses to drink, but cow's milk is also available.


wondering what u do for a living.


Michael, can't you tell - I'm a wannabe food writer. :-)

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