East meets west for afternoon tea in Houston, Texas

Text by Britt E. Stafford • Photography by John O’Hagan

During her childhood in India, Chef Kiran Verma experienced a different style of teatime, or what she refers to as “chai time.”

“In India, we always eat dinner very late—around 9 or 10 p.m.— so to fill the gap between meals, people would have chai time,” she recalls. “And over chai, I remember seeing my mom with my aunts and her friends knitting, sewing, talking about family, and so many little things in that time.” And when Kiran and her husband immigrated to the United States, she maintained this relaxing tradition.