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Friday, August 16, 2013

Kashmiri Pink Tea - Your cup of Tea straight from paradise - *Guest Post*

I’ve had tea from around the world. Green, black and even pink! Where I come from, we drink a special kind of tea that is pink. Behold the wonders of the Kashmiri chai! (Tea is chai in Urdu).

My grandmother’s been making this special tea for as long as anyone can remember and I wondered if I could share it with everyone on Isle of Tea.  The special thing about this tea is its beautiful pink colour and the fact that it’s not drank sweet but salty instead. The tea is prepared with traditional spices and has a very distinct aroma to it.


For the purpose of this post I have tried to translate my grandmother’s recipe and the ingredients to as much accuracy as possible. Just so everyone knows the traditional names of the spices, they are written in the brackets as well.

Ingredients
  • Green tea leaves (Sabz chai ki patti)          4-5 Tablespoon

  • Water                                                              Around 4 cups
  • Green Cardamom (Sabz Elaichi)                 5


  • Star anise (Badian Khatai)                            1 Star

  • Fennel (Saunf)                                                ½ teaspoon


  • Salt to taste
  • Cracked Cinnamon ( Daal Cheeni)              1 Teaspoon  
  • Milk to taste
  • Ground pistachios and almonds for garnish
  • Full cream for garnish                    
Procedure
  1. Add the 4 cups of water to a heavy based pan and add green tea leaves, cracked green cardamom, Star anise, Fennel and cinnamon.
  2. Let the mixture simmer till you are left with just around 2 cups of water.
  3. Now add the salt. It is advisable to add just a pinch more than you want because of the step that follows.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and place it in the wash basin. Now add 2 cups of chilled water to the tea.
  5. Now take a cup and scoop some tea in it and pour it back in from a height. Repeat this procedure at least 7-8 times because this procedure brings the pink colouring to the tea.
  6. Now strain the tea and place it on the stove again. When the tea starts to simmer, add milk to taste.
  7. Pour your Kashmiri tea in cups and garnish it with full cream, ground pistachios and almonds.
  8. Sip away and enjoy your tea from Kashmir.
The pink coloring of the tea actually depends on the quality of the tea leaves you use but don’t forget step 5 because it is the most important step if you want your tea to be that beautiful rose pink. Kashmiri chai is best served in winters and it warms you right up. The cream and pistachio, almond garnish adds a lot of texture and taste to the tea and makes it look more appealing.

For all the people out there who love themselves a great cup of tea, Kashmiri chai is bound to become one of their favorites because of its richness and unique taste. I believe that this recipe is one the best out there because my grandmother’s been making it even before I was born. I hope that all of you try this recipe and fall in love with it exactly like I did when I first had a sip of it in the cold winters of Kashmir.

Bibliography:
  1. www.pukkapaki.com
  2. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Leaves_of_green_tea.jpg
  3. http://www.vannsspices.com/Vanns-Cinnamon-Chips.html
About me:
Student and self thought chef, I believe in making my own dishes from traditional recipes. A fan of dark chocolate and everything spicy. My aim in life; to make the perfect cheese cake and lasagna. Studying to become an environmentalist and working as the creativity manager at www.southasiatrading.com

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