Kashmiri Chai, also known as “Noon Chai” or “Sheer Chai,” is a traditional tea from the picturesque Kashmir Valley. What sets this tea apart is its unique pink hue and the combination of rich, creamy flavors with a hint of salt. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through making this delightful and aromatic tea at home, so you can experience the essence of Kashmir in your own kitchen.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of milk
- 2-3 teaspoons of green tea leaves or tea bags
- A pinch of baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of saffron strands
- 2-3 cardamom pods (crushed)
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- Sugar or honey to taste
- Chopped pistachios and almonds (for garnish)
1. Preparing the Tea Base:
- In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add the green tea leaves or tea bags, crushed cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks.
- Allow it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, depending on your preference for tea strength.
2. Adding Milk and Saffron:
- After simmering, add 1 cup of milk to the tea.
- Drop in a pinch of saffron strands for that signature pink color.
3. Boiling with Baking Soda:
- Now, add a pinch of baking soda and a pinch of salt to the tea.
- Continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes, letting the tea froth and change color.
- Add sugar or honey to taste. Kashmiri Chai is often on the sweeter side, but you can adjust the sweetness according to your preference.
- Strain the Kashmiri Chai into cups, removing the tea leaves or tea bags.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds for that extra crunch and flavor.
- Sip and savor the unique flavors and vibrant pink color of Kashmiri Chai.
Kashmiri Chai is not just a tea; it’s an experience that combines the rich traditions and flavors of the Kashmir Valley. Whether you’re in the mood for something special or want to explore new tastes, this pink delight is sure to be a memorable choice.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
1. Why is Kashmiri Chai pink?
- The pink color in Kashmiri Chai comes from the addition of saffron strands and a pinch of baking soda during the cooking process.
2. Can I use black tea instead of green tea?
- Traditional Kashmiri Chai uses green tea, but you can experiment with black tea if you prefer a stronger flavor.
3. What is the best type of milk for Kashmiri Chai?
- Whole milk is the most commonly used type of milk for Kashmiri Chai. However, you can use any milk you prefer.
4. How sweet is Kashmiri Chai supposed to be?
- Kashmiri Chai is often sweet, but you can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar or honey.
5. Can I make a vegan version of Kashmiri Chai?
- Yes, you can make a vegan Kashmiri Chai by using plant-based milk and sweeteners like agave nectar or maple syrup.