Move over green tea, we now have a new chai contender in town. With the arrival of winter and the bitter icy winds, this rosy-hued drink known as Kashmiri Chai is now the “it” drink of the season. Brought to Pakistan and India by the people of Kashmir after the partition in 1947, this drink was initially only served to the royals due its sacred supply of Kashmir tea leaves.
However, on my recent trip to South Asia, I noticed that this pink tea, also known as Noon Chai and Gulabi Chai, was now being served in roadside cafes, restaurants, and even weddings. Unfortunately, if you live abroad, most South Asian restaurants still do not carry Kashmiri Chai. It is a rare find and whenever I am lucky enough to spot it on a menu, the foodie in me jumps with glee.
Granted you’re craving to try this rosy tea people describe as a “Creamsicle with flowers”, this drink requires a lot of time and patience to master. Perfecting the right cup of Kashmiri Chai may take some trial and error. Normally, regular chai only takes a few minutes to prepare, but when working with Kashmiri tea leaves, if you think you've brewed it long enough- you haven't, so keep brewing! Once you have become an expert on this coveted drink, you can call yourself the Master Barista of Kashmiri Tea.
With that being said, we leave you to brew your own perfect cup of pink.
• 2 cups water
• 3 tablespoon kashmiri tea leaves
• 9 green cardamom crushed
• 3 inch cinnamon broken into chip
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup cold water
• 3 to 4 tablespoon sugar
• 2 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon of ground pistachios
• 1 tablespoon of ground almonds
1. In a pot, add water, Kashmiri tea leaves, salt, cardamom and cinnamon.
2. When the water comes to a boil, add the baking soda.
3. Let the tea cook until the water turns reddish and the water is half. This will take about 30 minutes.
4. Add ice cold water to the boiling hot tea and mix for about 5 minutes.
5. Strain the tea and let it cool for about few minutes. You can even refrigerate the Kehwa for later use.
6. Once you are ready to serve, in a separate pot, add tea and milk and let it come to a boil.
7. Pour it in a cup and garnish with nuts.