KASHMIRI KAHWA

The first thing that I do before going on a trip is making a list of local dishes and beverages which I would like to try. Similarly, while on my trip to Kashmir this October, the one thing I wanted to try the most was Kahwa. A tea, sans milk, and flavored with cardamom, cinnamon and saffron, Kahwa is a perfect beverage to have during the winters. The aroma of the drink is bound to captivate you in its charms and the pleasant drink would warm you up in the cold winters. 

Traditionally, a brass kettle, known as Samovar, is used to prepare this tea. Samovar has a central cavity where live coals are placed and there is space for water around it where the ingredients are put and are allowed to boil. But, in the recent times, not many people use this traditional vessel and they make their Kahwas in regular pans and teapots.  

An interesting thing about Kahwa is that different parts of Kashmir prepare their Kahwa in different ways. 
KAHWA ON THE WAY TO SONAMARG
It was the first time I had Kahwa in a roadside stall while we were going to Sonamarg. It was prepared with just saffron, honey and a few spices and with no tea leaves at all.
SIPPING KAHWA IN GULMARG
The Kahwa which I had in Gulmarg, was pretty different from the one I had earlier. It was made of green tea and had floating chopped nuts. As I sipped it for the first time, the tea along with the nuts, was amazing and all I can say is that is exactly what I wanted in that cold weather. 

On the International Tea Day, I am sharing with you this simple recipe of Kahwa which can be made at home without muss hassle. I learnt this recipe from one of those local tea stall owners in Gulmarg. 

Recipe:


Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 7 or 8 minutes
Serves 3

What you need


THE MAIN INGREDIENTS OF KAHWA

  • 2 tbsp Kashmiri Green Tea leaves
  • 3-4 Cardamom pods
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • A pinch of Saffron
  • Honey or Sugar (According to your taste)
  • 4 cups Water
  • A few Almonds, chopped. (Optional)

How to make it?

  • Crush the cardamom pods and the cinnamon and break it into tiny pieces. 
  • In a Pan or a tea pot, boil four cups of water on a medium flame. 
  • Add the crushed cardamom, cinnamon and saffron to this boiling water along with the sugar or honey. 
  • Now, let the water simmer for at least 3-4 minutes while covered.
  • After that add the Kashmiri tea leaves and turn of the heat. Do crush the tea leaves a bit by your hands before you add it to the water.  
  • Allow it to rest for a minute or so, before you serve it.
  • While serving it, you may add the chopped almonds in the cups and then pour the hot Kahwa over it.
KASHMIRI KAHWA PREPARED AT HOME

You can also make a lot of variations in this recipe at home. Many people of Kashmir use Dried Rose petals as a part of the drink while some use cloves in it. It is completely your discretion what you would like to add. You may also experiment by using walnuts instead of almonds, but make sure that it is completely warm while you serve it. 

P.S: Do you know how beneficial this Kahwa is for your health?


It is not just tasty, but it is packed with a lot of health benefits!

  • This drink is generally served post the meals as it helps in digestion. 
  • It has warming effects and might be a great companion for your winter days. 
  • This is proved to burn excess fat from your body. (Weight loss idea, maybe?)
  • This is beneficial for the health of your heart.
  • It also helps fight sinus and reduces headaches. 
  • The tea also contains natural antioxidants and phytonutrients which have the power to destroy abnormal cells in your body, even the cancer cells. 
  • It is believed to be highly efficacious in various health problems like many respiratory diseases. 

While you are on your trip to Kashmir, you may also grab these amazing Kahwa spice powders and tea bags which are widely available and enjoy the taste of Kashmir at your home. 


You may also check out my post on International Tea Day last year, where I shared my experience of having butter tea in Arunachal Pradesh


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