How do you like your tea?
Black, spiced, sugarless or wait for it… salted?
Before you wonder if I’ve lost it, let me tell you that this isn’t my idea. It’s actually Michelle Francl’s. She’s an American scientist who published a book on The Chemistry of Tea this week advising folks who overboiled their tea to add in a pinch of salt to cut down the bitterness.
And the British are seething at what they say is an absurd suggestion.
Meanwhile, it has at least given space for some good old banter on social media. With the US Embassy in London actually putting out a 'press release' on X.
But here’s the thing. Whether the UK likes to brew their tea in kettles or the US likes to microwave it, tea isn’t either party’s business to worry about. Most people trace tea's origins back to China. Legend tells us that in ~2700 BCE some leaves from a tea tree blew into a pot of drinking water that Chinese emperor Shen Nung’s servant was boiling. And since the king was a herbalist, he decided to try this accidental infusion. That concoction is popularly known as tea today.
So yeah, you can have it anyway you like, even if it’s with a pinch of salt. That’s what people do in Kashmir. Namkeen chai or noon (meaning salt) chai is actually a beverage they enjoy. It’s a pink tea made with tea leaves, milk, baking soda, and salt.
What does the UK have to say about this, huh?
Here’s a soundtrack to put you in the mood 🎵
Khoya Hai Dil by Zeeshan Khan
You can thank Abhishek Tiwari for this recommendation.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
A couple of things caught our eye this week 👀
Yes, chicken tikka masala is the UK’s national dish
Butter chicken is the theme of a recent lawsuit.
Two age old restaurants Moti Mahal and Daryaganj based out of Delhi have taken a battle to court to lay their claims on the origins of this Indian delicacy. And the problem seems to be that the founders of both these family run restaurants may have worked together before Indian independence. So it’s hard to tell who actually created the dish. And we’ll only know when the court hears the case in May this year.
Who knows, the origins of the dish could come as a surprise if it’s traced back to some other place altogether. You know like chicken tikka masala.
While chicken tikka is a dish that's popular in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh the delicacy was actually invented in Scotland! It’s got quite a fanbase in the UK. In fact, Indian restaurants in the UK sold nearly 23 million portions of it every year as of the early 2000s. Retailers like Marks and Spencer’s sold 18,000 kilos of chicken tikka masala every week. And in 2001, Robin Cook a former Foreign Secretary of the UK called it a true British national dish.
So how did chicken tikka masala become the UK’s favourite dish?
Well, we don't know for sure. But the popular story says that a customer walked into Glasgow’s Indian restaurant called Shish Mahal in the 1970s and ordered some chicken tikka. But since the dryness of the dish didn’t suit his palette he sent his order back to the kitchen. Now the chef Ali Ahmed Aslam, a native of Pakistan had to fix this and quickly threw in some canned tomato soup he had handy to please his customer. The customer loved it and apparently came back for more the next day.
And thus began the journey of chicken tikka masala turning into a British favourite.
Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise because curry-based dishes have been very popular as early as the Victorian era. Dinners were even passed off as incomplete without a curry dish served at the table. Maybe that blended with the influence of Indian dishes on the East India Company during the colonial rule became the perfect recipe for the UK coming to love the chicken tikka masala so much.
But it’s still hard to believe that the chicken tikka masala doesn’t belong to India, isn’t it? We hope we don’t discover stuff like this about our beloved butter chicken from the Delhi High Court. 💔
Nazara Tech’s Comic Con India bet
Comic Con India will soon belong to gaming giant Nazara Technologies. This week NODWIN Gaming, Nazara’s esports subsidiary announced it was buying out Comic Con India for ₹55 crores in an all cash deal. And it’s probably a great bet.
See, Nazara Technologies is a mobile gaming and sports media company based out of Mumbai. And subscription earnings which are a big source of its revenue majorly come from gaming platform fees, advertising and sponsorship or media rights. But the gaming business is dynamic and businesses can only stay relevant when they diversify their revenues as much as possible. So that’s probably what Nazara is doing too.
And Comic Con could be that window of opportunity. That’s because Comic Con is an annual comic based convention where comic artists, merch businesses and comic enthusiasts come together at these events held across big cities globally. And the rise of pop culture in India has been giving Comic Con wings. When Comic Con India started out in 2011, it had just about 10,000 attendees. And the number has grown nearly 5x in about a decade, earning over ₹16 crores as of 2023.
And since Nazara intends to expand its presence in the global entertainment space, acquiring Comic Con actually makes sense. It could take Comic Con beyond popular cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad where such events have great potential.
Do you think this diversification strategy will turn out well for Nazara Technologies?
Money tips 💰
A invisible saving habit
Whenever you think of saving, you think of actually keeping aside money from your earnings or spending less. But there’s one aspect of savings we often overlook ― wastage. And by that we don’t mean squandering money over buying unnecessary stuff. We’re talking about the invisible kind of wastage. Let’s explain.
See, the first thing that’s very common is food wastage. About 40% of India’s food ends up in dustbins. And if you think about it, it’s actually a big money wastage problem too. When you throw away food, you don’t realise the monetary value of it. But maybe it’s time we do that.
Another thing is physical activity. How often do you take a cab or auto ride for a short trip you can cover on foot? This is something we might involuntarily do. But it can be an expensive habit. In fact, if you live around your workspace it’s always a great idea to start early and walk. It can also save up expensive gym subscriptions especially if you’re one of those who misses hitting the gym regularly.
So yeah, wasting money isn’t always a visible habit. You’re probably spending a lot of money without realising it. Time to fix that now?
Readers Recommend 🗒️
Don't Believe Everything You Think by Joseph Nguyen
This week our reader Swetha Govindan recommends a book that breaks down the root cause of all psychological and emotional suffering. The author believes that although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. So it could be relevant for folks trying to understand and overcome anxiety and self-doubt.
Thanks for the recommendation Swetha!
Finshots Weekly Quiz 🧩
It’s time to announce the winner of our previous weekly quiz. And the winner is…🥁
Avik Roy! Congratulations. Keep an eye on your inbox and we’ll get in touch with you soon to send over your Finshots merch. And for the rest of you, we’ve moved the weekly quiz to our weekly wrapup. So make sure you answer all the questions correctly and tune in here next week to check if you got lucky.
Until then, don’t forget to tell us what you thought of today’s newsletter. And send us your book, music, business movies, documentaries or podcast recommendations. We’ll feature them in the newsletter! Just hit reply to this email (or if you’re reading this on the web, drop us a message: firstname.lastname@example.org).
📢Finshots is now on WhatsApp Channels. Click here to follow us and get your daily financial fix in just 3 minutes.