Shir/Noon Chai

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

We talked about Kehwa in one of our previous posts, and we thought this was the right time at the beginning of this new year to introduce another Kashmiri beverage to our readers. Tea is an integral aspect of Indian social gatherings - it's served everywhere, from weddings to funerals. Just like Kehwa, this tea is also brewed in Samavar. Noon means salt in the Kashmiri, Bengali, and Nepali languages. Therefore, it should give away that this tea is salty in taste, unlike most other teas. Apart from being popular in the Kashmir valley, this tea is served in Jammu city, parts of Himachal Pradesh, and Pakistan, with each region adding its own unique touch to this tea.




As you know, the key ingredients are patience and commitment. The rest can be purchased online or at the supermarket.


The recipe mentioned below serves two people, but you can adjust the proportions to brew for more.


Ingredients

  1. Dried Kashmiri tea leaves (gunpowder tea) – 1 tbsp

  2. Salt – 1 tsp

  3. Baking Soda – ¼ tsp

  4. Milk – as per the size of serving cups.

  5. Water – 200 ml

  6. Malai/Thick Clotted Cream – 3 tbsps

  7. Cardamom (Powdered or crushed) – 4-5

  8. Almonds (sliced or powdered) – 7-8


Procedure

  1. Add water, tea leaves, and baking soda to a pan and cover it with a lid. Let them brew till the color changes to a deep red or maroon. The reason for adding baking soda is to get the desired color.

  2. Once the desired color is achieved, add salt and mix well.

  3. Add milk and then simmer it till you get the first boil.

  4. Strain the tea leaves out. Alternatively, you can directly transfer it into the cups as some people like to chew the brewed tea leaves in the end.

  5. Very carefully put the Malai on the top with a spoon, followed by cardamom powder and almonds.

  6. Serve with Kashmiri Roti, Roath, Babru, or any Indian Sweets.

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