Kashmiri Pink (Noon) Chai
If you know me, you know I love my chai. I love exploring different types of chai flavor combinations. When I had this Kashmiri Pink Chai the first time many years ago at a friend’s house, I became obsessed. I had tried intermittently over the years to recreate this delicious chai but was unsuccessful.
A few months ago, I was talking to my friend, R, and she and I relived memories of us drinking this Kashmiri Chai at her place. She gave me a few tips to make this chai successfully, which I will be passing on to you. Check out the recipe card below, as I’ll include the tips in the notes section.
As I practiced and made this chai, I adapted the chai recipe a little. For starters, I cut down the amount that is traditionally made. Since it takes up to an hour and sometimes more to boil the tea leaves and each ingredient added at a different stage, many people tend to make a large quantity of the Kahwa (the boiled tea before the addition of milk which many people also drink), I cut down the amount. Being the only tea drinker in my house, I didn’t see the need to make so much.
Also, I put my own little touch on this delicious chai by adding rose petals to the chai at the end after serving it into teacups. Usually you will find the chai garnished with nuts, almonds or pistachios.
WHERE DOES THE PINK COLOR COME FROM?
Believe it or not, from the reaction of baking soda added to the green tea leaves. What I found is that the color became deeper when I added the sugar to it. This was absolutely the highlight. So much fun to see the chemical reactions (science lover in me).
The first sip that I took reminded me how decadent it is, that I instantly knew this had to be one of my Valentine’s specials. This is a very creamy chai but a little savory too. As I’ve been taught, a bit of salt is added to the chai towards the end.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious Kashmiri Pink Chai!
Kashmiri Pink (Noon) Chai
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Kashmiri tea leaves
- 1 c water
- 1 c milk (preferably whole milk)
- 1 c ice water
- 3-4 saffron strands
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed pistachios
- 1 tsp dried rose petals
- In a saucepan, combine water, cardamom, tea leaves, and baking soda. Simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes using a ladle to scoop and pour the liquid intermittently. The mixture should reduce to half of the original amount.
- Turn off the heat and remove the pot from stovetop. Add ice water tand scoop and pout for another 5-7 minutes. A foam should start forming and the color should start changing to a dark red.
- Turn on the heat to medium flame and boil for another 8-10 minutes.
- Add in the sugar and salt and continue boiling for a few more minutes.
- Keep stirring the mixture and add in the milk. Boil for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea into teacups. Garnish with crushed pistachios and rose petals.
- Serve hot.
**You can strain the tea right before adding the milk and store it in a jar in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Just add milk and boil when you are ready to drink this!
**I used Kashmiri Green Tea Leaves which came with cinnamon in it. You can omit the extra cinnamon if it is not to your taste.
**If you are not able to get Kashmiri Green Tea Leaves, any good quality of green tea leaves will still work.
**The constant scoop and pour is important to making this chai. Traditionally it is done by pouring from one vessel to another from a significant height to give it the froth. I didn't feel comfortable doing so which is why I used a ladle for my technique.