Kahwa is a traditional Kashmiri tea flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron. It is a great drink to sip on cold winter days but can be had throughout the year. Here is how to make it at home (vegan, gluten-free).
About Kashmiri Kahwa
Kashmiri Kahwa Tea (Kehwa Chai) is a traditional Kashmiri tea flavored with cardamom and infused with cloves, cinnamon, and saffron. It has a very delicate taste, and it soothes the body.
It is a popular beverage, and people throughout Kashmir keep sipping on this to keep their bodies warm during the severe cold months.
The ingredients, such as kesar (saffron strands) and whole spices, give instant relief to the body from the chilled weather outside.
While kahwa is popularly made in winter, you can definitely make it throughout the year.
Kehwa was traditionally prepared in a brass or copper kettle known as Samovar.
A samovar consists of a “fire container” running as a central cavity, in which live coals keep the chai perpetually hot.
Around the fire container is a space for water to boil, and the tea leaves and other ingredients are mixed with the water.
People in Kashmir make big batches of this tea drink and store it in a samovar. The kahwah remains warm for many hours, and they keep sipping throughout the day.
Kahwa drink is generally served with a sprinkling of thinly slivered dried nuts and fruits like almonds, pistachios, or cashew nuts, almonds being the most popular.
My Kashmiri kahwa recipe to make this Kashmiri chai serves 2, but you can easily scale the recipe.
Here are some more tea recipes that you may like
- Lemongrass Chai
- Sulaimani Chai
- Pudina Chai
- Irani Chai
- Turmeric Ginger Tea
- Amritsari Pista Badam Tea
- Strawberry Tea
- Pineapple Ginger Turmeric Tea
To make kehwah, you need a few ingredients, such as Kashmiri green tea, saffron strands (kesar), cinnamon (dalchini), cloves (laung), dried rose petals, green cardamoms (hari elaichi), and almonds.
Kahwa tastes the best when made using the Kashmiri variety of green tea. Having said that, use any green tea leaves that are readily available to you.
Use the best quality saffron. Try to buy saffron from a trusted source. Since it is a costly spice, it is prone to adulteration.
If you like your Kahwah to be a little sweet, add a little honey while it’s hot and mix it properly.
You can use pistachios or cashew nuts in place of almonds.
Pro Tips By Neha
The only thing to remember while making Kahwa is that you should not add tea leaves while the heat is on. It helps retain the tea’s nutrition intact and does not hamper the taste.
Strain the tea after 30-40 seconds of infusing. If kept for long, it will become bitter.
How To Make Kahwa Tea
Heat 3 cups of water in a pan over medium-high heat.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low.
- 10-12 strands of saffron
- ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 clove
- 1 green cardamom
- ½ teaspoon dried rose petals
to the pan and let the water simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Switch off the heat.
Add 1 teaspoon Kashmiri green tea to the pan and stir gently.
Let the tea steep for 30-40 seconds.
Tip – Cover the pan with a lid to keep the chai warm.
Strain the kahwa into 2 cups using a fine tea strainer.
Add 1 teaspoon slivered almond slivers and 1-2 strands of saffron to each cup.
Add honey if you like your kahwa slightly sweet. Serve hot.
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Kashmiri Kahwa Tea Recipe
- 3 cups water
- 10-12 strands saffron (plus 3-4 more for serving)
- ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 1 clove (laung)
- 1 whole green cardamom (hari elaichi) (lightly crushed)
- ½ teaspoon dried rose petals
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri green tea (or any other green tea)
- 2 teaspoons almonds (thinly silvered)
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- Heat water in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low.
- Add saffron, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and dried rose petals to the pan and let the water simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Switch off the heat.
- Add green tea to the pan and stir gently.
- Let the chai steep for 30-40 seconds.
- Tip – You can cover the pan with a lid to keep the tea warm.
- Strain the kahwa into 2 cups using a fine tea strainer.
- Add 1 teaspoon of slivered almond slivers and 1-2 strands of saffron to each cup.
- Add honey if you like your kahwa slightly sweet. Serve hot.