Kashmiri Chai

Everything tastes better in an owl mug :)

What could be more magical than tea that turns pink?

Actually, it’s pretty scientific, the baking soda makes the solution basic so…..ooh, enough, Science, you’re ruining the ambiance!

Ok. So magic tea. I had never heard of Kashmiri chai (also called noon chai or pink chai), but first experienced it in Pakistan several years ago at a wedding. What is this lovely and strange cup I’m being handed? So pretty! So fragrant and salty sweet! I was immediately enchanted.

The next week I had another cup from a street vendor when we visited the mountain town of Murree. Of course I looked it up when we got home, and found that it is most often served at special occasions such as weddings (check) and in scenic mountain locations (check), so I feel like I unknowingly got a pretty comprehensive Kashmiri chai experience.

But of course you can enjoy this within the comfort of your own non-mountain home to make just a regular day a little special. You can find Kashmiri chai at your local Indian store (which I did), or online, but from my understanding it’s basically the same as green tea so you can use that as well.

Kashmiri Chai

Pretty much from Instructables

  • 2 cups cold water + 1 cup cold water later
  • 1 heaping tbsp Kashmiri chai or green tea
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • good pinch black salt (or regular salt if you don’t have that)
  • 2 cups cold milk

Put 2 cups water, tea, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

Add a cup of cold water (to shock the tea leaves? Going to do more research about this). Turn heat to high and stir constantly while you bring it back to a boil.

When it’s boiling, add the milk and stir, then reduce heat back to medium to heat the whole pot through. Be relieved that it’s the color it is supposed to be. Strain and serve. Garnish with almonds or pistachios (which I would have loved to but was fresh out of nuts).