Kashmiri chai

Kashmiri Chai is also known has noon chai or pink tea. It is cooked using special Kashmiri green tea leaves and is cooked for a long time to get the pink colour. You can get Kashmiri tea from any Indian or Pakistani supermarket in the UK. I bought mine from Quality Foods in London but you can also buy it online from Amazon.

Kashmiri tea always reminds me of weddings in Pakistan. It is probably the only time I have drunk proper Kashmiri chai. It is very hard to find in the UK, usually restaurants just add food colouring to hot milk which is always such a disappointment.

Kashmiri chai is traditionally salty however I like mine sweet. It can be quite tricky to make this depending on the type of water you use. When I tried to make it in London it took me 3 hours! Yes thats right, 3 long hours! I realised that this is because the water in London is hard. When I made it at home in Yorkshire (which has softer water), it turned crimson in less than 30 minutes! If you live in London, I would recommend using bottled water unless you have nothing else to do that day!.

So here it the recipe- it makes roughly 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • Kashmiri tea leaves- 8 tablespoons
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 litres cold water
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup milk

Method

  1. To a large pan, add the water, baking soda and tea leaves and whip it for 10-20 seconds.
  2. Let it boil on high heat until half of the water evaporates.
  3. Pour ice cold water from a height.
  4. Whip more or use a ladle to pour the tea from a height into the same pan- this helps the tea turn red.
  5. As you keep boiling and whipping it you will start to see a colour change.
  6. Once it is red, add the cardamom, cinnamon, sugar and milk.
  7. Let it boil once more.

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