Chai Shai’s Pakistani lemonade
Chai Shai, the combination tea shop and restaurant operated by Pakistani-born brothers Abdul and Kashif Tufial, is finally open at 59th and Holmes. Among its cold drinks are a thick and refreshing mango milkshake, an iced chai tea, regular iced tea and a beverage the Tufials call skun-jabeen.
It’s made with fresh lemon juice, crushed black salt, water and a splash of sparkling water, usually Perrier. It’s the Pakistani version of a similar Indian beverage, says Kashif Tufial, called nimbu pani; but the Tufials don’t use crushed peppercorns, an ingredient in nimbu pani, in their recipe. “It’s a great way to feel cool in overpowering heat,” he said.
Not everyone will respond to the saltiness of the beverage — I could handle only a few sips. Still, I wonder what it might taste like with a few peppercorns added.