(Last Updated on : 23/09/2015)
are heavy tea
drinkers. Kashmiri Cuisine
cannot be complete without having beverages. "Kahwah" and "Sheer Chai" are the favourite beverages of the Kashmiri Cuisine. Tourists come to Kashmir
not only for its natural beauty but also to have the refreshing beverages of the state. Being a cold region much of the beverages served here are served warm.
Over the past 100 years, the cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir
has evolved to a great extent and this has been mainly due to the influence of Kashmiri Pandits
that hail from the Hindu Community and the Kashmiri Buddhists from the valley. The cuisines of North India Plains, Persia and Central Asia have also marked their strong influence on the cuisine of this state. A few refreshing and notable beverages of Jammu and Kashmir have gained prominence amongst the tourists.
Kahwah is one popular drink that is served at religious places, and during special festivals and marriage fests. This is a warm kind of tea that is usually served after meals to wash the food down. Though every one of us is familiar with ginger tea that is prepared in our homes, yet the special Kashmiri tea which is a fragrant one blended with cardamom is must have. It is one of the delightful thirst quenching drink which the tourists ask for. Infact, the natives that prefer drinking Kahwah to settle their stomach upset. It is also believed to be good for digestion.
This drink hails its origin from an Arab coffee which was popular in 14th century. This drink has astonishing 20 varieties which are prepared in diverse households. Also called "Maugal Chai" by the Kashmiri Pandits, some people at times also add milk to alter its taste.
Green tea leaves - 1 tsp
Green cardamoms - 2
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
Almonds - 4 to 5
Sugar - 3 tsp
Saffron - 2 to 3 strands
Grind the cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon to powder.
Crush almonds and keep aside.
In a pan pour 3 cups of water, crushed green tea leaves, sugar, cardamom-cloves-cinnamon powder and saffron.
Leave to infuse over a very low flame for 10 minutes till the tea turns light golden. Strain into tea cups.
Sprinkle the finely ground almonds on top of each cup and serve hot.
Sheer Chai or Noon Chai
Sheer Chai or Noon Chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with breads like Bakarkhani. This tea is best served in large samovars. The word "noon" in Kashmiri language
This popular drink is a pinkish coloured salted tea which is made with green tea, milk, salt and sodium bicarbonate. The particular colour of the tea is a result of its unique method of preparation and the addition of soda. The Kashmiri Pandits more commonly refer to this Chai as "Sheer Chai".
2 tsp green tea leaves
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2-3 pods of cardamom, seeds removed and crushed roughly
2 cups of water
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp of ground pistachios and almonds
In a saucepan on medium heat, add the 2 tsp of tea with about 1/2 of water, boil till frothy.
Then add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds.
Add the rest of the water and crushed cardamom and boil until the tea broth becomes a bright red.
Now bring the heat down to medium low and add the milk and whisk the tea broth very vigorously to achieve a slight froth. The colour of the tea should now be a lovely dark pink.
Finally, add the salt and stir. Pour in to a cup and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and almonds.