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A pretty pink in color, Kashmiri Tea is a Pakistani hot beverage. It has a rich, creamy, and sweet taste. A kehwa (tea base) is first prepared with Kashmiri or Green Tea leaves and whole spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and green cardamoms. Then the kehwa is boiled with milk and sugar to make the tea.
Kashmiri Chai originates from the valley of Kashmir which has this exclusive variety of tea leaves. Also known as noon (salt) chai or gulabi (pink) chai, this tea unlike others, is very fragrant and creamy. Traditionally, it was prepared with salt only but over the years people have started adding sugar, giving it a richer taste.
The key to getting that beautiful rosy hue lies in the reaction of baking soda with tea leaves and the beating of the ‘kehwa’. The more air you incorporate into the ‘kehwa’ the pinker your tea will get. No food color has been used in the making of this recipe.
Plunge into my cookbook right away!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
4 cups cold water
3 tbsp Kashmiri tea leaves
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1.5-inch piece of cinnamon
5 green cardamoms
2 cups ice-cold water
1 cup milk
1 cup kehwa
1-2 tbsp sugar (optional)
crushed almonds & pistachios for garnishing
In a large saucepan, add water along with the tea, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. Bring everything to a boil.
Then add baking soda and salt. Lower the heat slightly and keep cooking till the water is reduced to half the initial amount which is 2 cups according to this recipe.
When the water is reduced, add ice-cold water along with some ice cubes from a height. Then aerate the mixture by using a ladle or another mug and pour around a cup of this tea from a height and keep doing that for the next 10 mins. It translates to ‘phaintna’ in Urdu which means to beat vigorously.
After 10 mins, you will see deep red bubbles on the surface of the tea. Turn off the heat and strain the liquid. This ‘kehwa’ can be stored in the fridge for around 2 weeks.
For preparing the milk tea, bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add the sugar and pour some of the kehwa. You can adjust the kehwa and milk ratio according to your liking. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn off the heat. Cover the pan and give ‘dum’ for 2-3 mins. Pour into mugs and add garnish with some crushed almonds and pistachios.
Tips & Tricks:
- The kehwa prepared in this recipe makes around 5-6 cups of Kashmiri Chai. The leftover kehwa can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- Begin by adding cold water to the pan. It has to be cold from the refrigerator.
- After one boil, add baking soda (NOT baking powder).
See you next week!
About the author : Amna Hamid is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Amreli Steels. Her food blog Gobble wobble will be featured weekly on the weekend on WOW360 segment with a new and exciting recipe! Being an ardent foodie since childhood, Amna always wanted to have her own space on food and everything that revolves around it. (email@example.com)
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