Kashmiri Chai is a milky chai made of green leaves. Green tea leaves are used to brew Kashmiri Chai Recipe which is an antioxidant.
It helps reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke and decreases the formation of clots in the blood. L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea that helps reduce anxiety and stress.
This is a unique Kashmiri chai recipe that was invented by Kashmiris as the name shows. Unlike other teas, Kashmiri chai includes salt that provides it with a savoury and unique taste.
The tea is formed in a pinkish colour and it is also called pink tea.
Another name of this tea is ‘Noon tea’ that is derived from the Punjabi word ‘Loon’ which means salt. This tea is really famous in Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries. It is mostly served with bread and nuts.
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Kashmiri Chai Background
Kashmiri chai is an essential part of weddings, birthdays and special dinners, particularly on winter days.
In Afghanistan, it is referred to as ‘Shor Chai’.
There is no particular time for having Kashmiri chai, however, it is frequently used in winters because of its warming ingredients.
It is generally served with sheermal, kandir tchot, Kashmiri bread, bakarkhani and kulcha. Kashmiri chai increases mental ability, maintains fluid levels in the body and reduces headaches.
If you add a pinch of cinnamon powder to the tea, it will also reduce joint pain. Saffron is also known for lifting spirits on a cold day.
Origin of Kashmiri chai
The origin of Kashmiri chai is still not confirmed. It is said that it originated in the Kashmir valley located between Pakistan and India. Though green tea leaves are not harvested there, this specific recipe is believed to be developed there.
A few experts also link it back to Yarkand in Turkestan where the tea is made with milk, salt and butter. Kashmiri chai is mostly taken in breakfast or at late afternoon tea and is frequently made in winters.
Variations of Kashmiri chai
There are a lot of variations in traditional Kashmiri chai. Here are some of the notable variations OF Kashmiri chai.
- Organic Kashmiri chai
This chai includes all the organic ingredients to make tea. It doesn’t include baking soda to give it a pinkish colour.
- Traditional Kashmiri chai
This chai is made by adding baking soda that turns chai into a perfect pinkish colour.
- Kashmiri chai with nuts
People add some nuts before serving the Kashmiri chai that enhances its flavour.
What to serve with Kashmiri chai?
Kashmiri chai can be served after dinner or as a late afternoon tea. You can even take it at any time of the day. You can serve sheermal, kulchay, bread or biscuits with the tea to complement its taste. If you want to serve it after dinner, you can see the menu mentioned below.
Mains: BBQ rice, chicken tikka, nihari, anday chanay and karahi can be the perfect options
Bread: you can serve Kashmiri naan, sheermal, bread and bakarkhani with Kashmiri tea
Vegetarians: Veg raita, aloo sabzi, daal mash and karela pyaz
Appetizers: Dry fruits, crackers, nuggets and potato cutlets will compliment Kashmiri chai
Desserts: Desert may include jalebi, gulab jamun, zarda or gajar halwa
Tips for the smooth cooking process of Kashmiri Chai
Though the Kashmiri chai recipe has limited ingredients, it needs full concentration and expertise to make a perfect Kashmiri chai.
You have to follow the steps very carefully and measure the ingredients accurately to get a scrumptious and warming cup of Kashmiri chai. Here are some helpful tips to consider while making Kashmiri chai:
- Always buy good quality green tea leaves to get the real texture of your Kashmiri chai
- Always follow the recipe accurately and measure your ingredients exactly
- Boil water on medium flame and add leaves of green tea, then turn the heat on slow to perfectly brew the tea
- If you feel the water has reduced and the tea leaves are sticking to the bottom, add chilled water right away
- When you add chilled water turn off the flame and whisk the tea for around 5 to 10 minutes
- The more you whisk the tea, the better you get the colour and taste
- Boil milk separately and then add in the boiling tea because boiling the tea and milk for a long time will turn the pink colour darker
- You can also add powdered milk in tea but fresh milk always tastes better in Kashmiri chai
- Garnish your Kashmiri chai with sliced pistachio and almonds to enhance the flavour
Q: What is Kashmiri chai and what makes it special?
A: Kashmiri chai is made by adding cardamom and baking soda in brewing green tea. Boiled milk is then added to the mix and garnished with nuts. It has a unique recipe that makes it really special and famous.
Q: How to develop its recipe?
A: Original Kashmiri chai has a long process and it takes hours to make Kashmiri chai. However, you can get a recipe that can be made in less than half an hour to save time and energy. This version is also as delicious as the original one and has a similar texture and flavour.
Q: How to make Kashmiri chai in a traditional way?
A: Traditionally Kashmiri chai is made by boiling green tea leaves with cardamom for hours. Then you have to add cold water and stir it continually to bring pinkish colour. After that, boiled milk is added to the tea and cooked for some more time.
Q: How to make a quick and easy version and why does it work?
A: Quick version of Kashmiri chai is made by boiling the tea leaves with baking soda and adding cold water with salt, sugar and milk. Bring it to boil and Kashmiri chai is ready.
Q: What makes Kashmiri chai pink?
A: when green tea leaves are cooked with baking soda, and cold water and milk is added, it provides a pinkish colour
Q: What to do if Kashmiri chai is not turning pink?
A: You can add some more baking soda and stir continually to make its colour deep maroon. It will turn pink when milk will be added.
Q: Can you use any green tea leaves to make Kashmiri chai?
A: Yes, Kashmiri chai can be made with any green tea leaves. However, if you want its real texture, you must find a good brand of green tea leaves.
Q: Which brand of Kashmiri chai is best?
A: It is not possible to tell you all, however, Tapal gulbahar, Dewan Kashmiri pink tea, Food net Hi-Sun, Three rivers and Handi Kashmiri Pink tea are some of the brands famous for their quality.
How to make Kashmiri Chai?
Making Kashmiri chai is a meticulous procedure. You have to boil green tea leaves in water with baking soda. It changes colour after cooking and turns deep maroon. It is done because of the acid-based reaction.
Once the tea turns deep maroon, chilled water is added to preserve the colour. You have to stir it well to get the perfect colour. Salt and sugar is also added to make the colour rich. When milk is added to the tea, it turns pink.
It takes 2 to 3 hours to make traditional Kashmiri chai. However, you can make Kashmiri chai in around 20 to 25 minutes to save your energy and time. You will get a similar rich flavour of Kashmiri chai to give you a soothing effect.
Here is a quick recipe for Kashmiri chai to make your guests feel pleasant.
Kashmiri Chai Recipe
- 6 green tea leaves
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- 1-2 cardamom powder
- 15-20 seeds of cardamom plus
- 6 cups of water
- 1-2 soda bicarbonate
- 1-2 litre full cream fresh milk
- 6 crushed almonds and pistachio
- Take a heavy-based saucepan
- Bring water to boil
- Add green tea leaves along with cardamom seeds, salt and soda bicarbonate
- Bring to boil again
- Reduce heat and quickly brew it for 4 to 5 minutes or until the water reduces to half
- Keep the water on boiling
- Add 2 to 3 cups of chilled water that can make 4 cups of Kashmiri chai
- Bring to boil and simmer it for additional 5 minutes
- Remove from heat
- Strain the tea and keep it aside
- Take another pan
- Boil milk with cardamom powder on low heat
- Add it in the prepared tea called Qehwa
- Bring to boil and add salt and sugar
- Simmer it for 5 minutes keeping the flame low
- Turn off the heat and pour it into cups
- Add one tsp crushed almonds and pistachios
- Tempting Kashmiri chai is ready
Kashmiri Chai Recipe InstructionsTo make this tea, you have to make 2 pans. One-pan is for making the Qehwa and another for boiling milk. Add water to the pan and bring to boil. Add green tea leaves. Add salt, cardamom seeds and bicarbonate of soda. Let it boil and reduce the flame to low. Cook it till the water reduces to half of its quantity. Take chilled water and add to the tea. Bring it to a boil and whisk it for 5 minutes. Take it off from the heat. Strain the tea and take it aside. In another pan, pour milk and add cardamom powder. Let it boil on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame. Add the milk into the tea and cook it on low to medium flame for more than 5 minutes. Add salt and sugar according to taste. Take it off from the heat. Pour it into 6 cups and garnish it with crushed pistachios and almonds. You can also add one spoon of heavy cream to the cup before serving. Delicious Kashmiri chai is ready. Serve it piping hot with nuts and desserts and enjoy the warmth of the tea. Kashmiri chai will provide you with a warming and relaxing effect on a cold evening. Do try this easy Kashmiri chai recipe and enjoy it with friends and family.