The best thing about the Spring season is that it reminds us how colorful our world is. The sight of blooming flowers makes me feel so grateful to live this beautiful life. All the colors and fragrance in our surroundings make every moment of this season worth enjoying. I want to spend all my time outdoors, adoring the natural beauty around me. My evenings are centered around preparing a healthy dinner for our family. But just before that to give myself an energetic kick, I make myself a hot cup of tea. But today I decided to give myself a little break from regular Indian masala tea since I had a friend visiting in the evening. As she belonged to a different country, I thought, why not impress her with my home country, India’s pride, that is Kashmir. I prepared special Kashmiri Chai or Pink Tea or Noon Chai, as it is famously known there. And no wonder she just loved it.
What is so special about Kashmiri chai?
I encountered this splendid beverage a few years ago when I visited Srinagar, Kashmir, with my husband and other family members. We tried this tea at a local cafe in Gulmarg and instantly fell in love with it. Typically, locals of Kashmir enjoy this tea with sweetbreads, famously known as Lavasa, Bakar Khani kulcha, and Sheermaal. Traditionally, people prepared this Kashmiri chai from distinctive tea leaves, milk, salt, and usually cooked in a samovar. A pinch of baking soda gives it a pronounced pink color, and the peculiar sweet-salty taste makes it wonderfully unique. Here I have given this tea my usual twist, so make sure to try it out. And mesmerize yourself in the beauty around you.
Beat the boredom of your high tea evenings with this refreshing Kashmiri tea and make most of this spring season. Check out my Kashmiri Pulao with Royal Dry Fruits recipe to enjoy an authentic Kashmiri meal.
“If there is heaven on earth, then it is here here….here..!!”
- 2 cups/750 ml water
- 2 tea bags Cardamom Pods
- 1 Star Anise
- 3-4 Cardamom Pods
- a pinch Cinnamon Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- a pinch Sea Salt
- 2 teaspoons or as per taste Honey
- 1/2 cup or 130 ml Milk
- For Garnish Almonds
- For Garnish Pistachios
- Boil water and add raspberry flavored tea leaves from tea bags.
- Crush star anise and cardamom pods using mortar and pestle. Then add to the hot brewing tea. Also, add a pinch of cinnamon powder.
- Once the spices and tea leaves have released all the it's the aroma, add baking soda and give a stir using a ladle. At this stage, keep stirring the tea in up and downpouring pattern for good 10-15 minutes.
- Add salt and again give a quick stir.
- Once the tea brews with all the ingredients, strain the brewed mixture and transfer the strained broth back into the saucepan.
- Set the heat on low to medium setting this time.
- Now add honey or choice of sweetener and give a thorough mix. Then pour in milk and let it boil for few more minutes.
- Once the tea is ready, garnish the beverage with peeled almonds and pistachios while serving.
- Make sure to add milk after adding sweetener only. Since raspberry tea leaves have some acidic elements, it can curdle the milk. So make sure to balance the acidity with sweetener first. However, if using regular tea leaves, then you can add sweetener after milk
- You can add spices more or less as per your liking. I like cardamom flavor, so I tend to add more of that.
- If using regular tea leaves, then keep stirring until you start to see a very light pink color. Since I have used raspberry tea leaves, my tea already has pink shade. It's a good option if you want to make your drink decaffeinated as well.