Kashmiri Kehwa Tea

Winter is here in the northern hemisphere, and the tea that I will talk about today can be your new best friend during winters. The best thing about Kehwa is that it's so versatile that you can make it according to your taste. You can experiment as you will - simple tweaks to the ingredients could make a real difference in taste.

Traditionally, Kehwa is prepared in a vessel known as "Samavar" or "Samovar". It is a metallic kettle with two distinct compartments - the inner chamber was for the tea to brew in and the outer one for the coals to be placed in. The heat from the coal brews the tea.

In this post, I will showcase the classic way of making Kehwa, along with some variations of it that I have personally seen and prepared that I really like.


The Classic Kehwa Tea


Serves 4 and takes up to 15-20 mins to brew.


Ingredients

  1. Kashmiri Kehwa Tea Leaves (dried) – 1 teaspoon (can be easily found online)

  2. Cinnamon stick – ½ inch

  3. Green cardamom – 4 (crushed)

  4. Sugar – 1 tablespoon per cup or adjust to taste.

  5. Almonds – 6-7 finely chopped or crushed

  6. Cloves – 2

  7. Water – 4 cups

Process

  1. Add four cups of water to a saucepan with the flame on medium-low.

  2. Add your tea leaves, cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, and sugar. Let it brew for 15-20 minutes till it begins to boil rapidly.

  3. Transfer the almonds equally -or not, if you have some people you like over others ;) - amongst the four cups.

  4. Pour the tea over these almonds in the cup using a strainer.

  5. Serve with some hot savory snacks like Pakora (fritters) or Fried/Baked snacks.

That is fundamentally how you prepare this simple yet delightful tea. Now, let us go through some variations.


Saffron Kashmiri Kehwa Tea


This variation does not deviate much from the original. We simply add some saffron strands (around 3 to 4) to the water in step 1 to infuse their flavor into the tea. You can even add walnuts along with the almonds to the cups.


Lemon Kehwa tea


This one is just as common as the original, in my opinion, and one I personally enjoy a whole lot.


Ingredients

  1. Kashmiri Kehwa tea leaves (dried) – 1 teaspoon (can be easily found online)

  2. Sugar – 1 tablespoon per cup (you can use it depending on how sweet you like your tea)

  3. Lemon juice – 1 lemon

  4. Cloves – 2

  5. Water – 4 ½ cups


Process

  1. Add water to a saucepan on medium flame.

  2. Add tea leaves, cloves, lemon juice, and sugar and let it brew on a low flame for 20 minutes.

  3. Pour the tea into the cups using a strainer and enjoy it.

Pepper Kehwa tea


Traditionally, this is considered to be the best remedy for sore throats and runny noses in Kashmir.


Ingredients

  1. Kashmiri Kehwa Tea Leaves (dried) – 1 teaspoon.

  2. Cinnamon stick – ½ inch

  3. Green cardamom – 4(crushed)

  4. Sugar – 1 tablespoon per cup( you can use it depending on how sweet you like your tea)

  5. Almonds – 6-7 finely chopped or crushed

  6. Cloves – 2

  7. Water – 4 cups

  8. Peppercorns – 4-5(crushed)

Process

The process is exactly the same as the original one - just remember to add peppercorns when you add in the cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

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