Kashmiri Chai is known for its stunning pink color. It's a winter specialty that originates from the Northern part of Pakistan.
- PREP TIME: 15 minutes
- COOK TIME: 120 minutes
- SERVINGS: 8 persons
- 1 litre water
- 4 teaspoon Kashmiri Chai leaves (1 teaspoon per 250 ml cup)
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 500 ml Ice-cold water or ice-cubes
- 750 ml – 1 litre Milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 crushed Cardamom/Elaichi seeds (crushed in mortal pestle)
- Sugar – to taste
- Crushed Almonds and/or Pistachios – to garnish
- 1. Heat 1 litre water in a large & wide sauce pan. Once it reaches a boil, add 4 teaspoon of green tea leaves.
- 2. Let the mixture boil for 10-15 minutes till it reduces to about half the initial amount.
- 3. Turn heat to low and add baking soda/meetha soda. The soda will bubble up and there will be a hint of pink around the edges.
- 4. Cook this mixture on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and it will turn into a dark brown shade with hints of red. Turn off the heat.
- 5. Fill a jug with 500 ml of ice-cold water. Add a few ice-cubes to make sure it is chilled.
- 6. Take a large spoon or soup ladle and stir the tea mixture by pouring and re-pouring it from a height. This is known as ‘paitha lagana’ in Urdu. Pour and re-pour using one hand and add ice-cold water slowly from the other hand. Continue doing this for at least 5-10 minutes.
- 7. Once you are done with the ‘paitha lagana’ step and the color of the tea is dark red, strain it another sauce pan. Kashmiri Chai Kehwa is ready.
- 8. Heat the Kashmiri Chai Kehwa in a sauce pan. Add milk to taste. The ratio that I prefer is 1:1, that is for every 500 ml of Kehwa I add 500 ml of milk. If you prefer it creamier than you can add more milk and if you find the milk version to be too heavy then you can add more Kehwa.
- 9. Add crushed cardamom seeds, ¼ teaspoon of salt and sugar (if using). Bring to boil. Once it comes to boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for at least 15-20 minutes.
- 10. Taste and adjust salt & sugar content if required.
- 11. Pour into mugs and add crushed almonds and pistachios for garnish.
Notes:Photo credits: Shutterstock Kashmiri Chai is made from green tea leaves but these are not the Jasmine tea leaves that are regularly available. The best Kashmiri Chai tea leaves in Karachi are available at Empress Market and can be found by asking for ‘Kashmiri Chai’ leaves. This recipe originally appeared here http://kayscaramelizedconfessions.com/kashmiri-chai/