Sulaimani Chai (Malabar Spiced Tea) is an Indian black tea recipe flavored with whole spices and made without the addition of milk. It is quite popular in the Malabar region of India (vegan, gluten-free).
About Sulaimani Chai (Malabar Spiced Tea)
Sulaimani Chai (Malabar Spiced Tea) is a fragrant spiced tea made without milk. It originated from the Arabs and is quite popular in the Malabar coast of India and in Hyderabad’s old city.
It is an integral part of the lifestyle of the Mappila Muslim community staying on the Malabar coast of Kerala. You will also find many roadside stalls (tea shops) selling this ambrosial sweet-sour tea.
The tea is brewed with mixed whole spices and black tea powder until it is golden in color (a beautiful shade of amber). It is finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice which makes it super refreshing.
This vegan and gluten-free spiced black tea is great to sip after heavy meals, as it is considered one of the best digestive beverages. Apart from that, you can enjoy it at any time of the day.
This Sulaimani tea recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if making it for a crowd.
Here are some of my other favorite tea recipes that you may like
- Ground Sumac Tea
- Passion Fruit Tea
- Mango Iced Tea
- Mango Green Tea
- Hibiscus Tea
- Strawberry Tea
- Lemon Tea
- Irani Chai
- Pudina Chai
- Thai Iced Tea
- Turmeric Ginger Tea
History Of Sulaimani Chai
Sulaimani tea is said to be originated in the Arabian Peninsula. The name Sulaimani comes from the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq, where the tea is said to have been first brewed. According to legend, the prophet Mohammed himself was given this special recipe by an angel.
The ancient recipe for Sulaimani tea calls for just four ingredients: black tea, cardamom, cloves, and lime. This simple combination of spices creates a refreshing and invigorating beverage that is perfect for any time of day.
While Sulaimani tea is traditionally made with black tea, many modern versions use green or oolong tea instead. This gives the drink a lighter flavor and makes it more refreshing.
Why Is It Called “Sulaimani Chai”
Sulemani (Sulaimani) means “man of peace”. This name was given by the locals of the Malabar region of India to the Arabs, because of their good friendship terms. Since this tea was introduced to the Malabar people by the Arabs, they started to call it Sulemani Chai.
You just need a few simple ingredients to make the traditional Sulemani tea – water, fresh ginger, cloves (laung), cinnamon (dalchini), green cardamoms (hari elaichi), sugar, freshly squeezed lime juice (or lemon juice), and Assam black tea leaves (chai patti).
You can use loose black tea leaves or tea bags.
Replace sugar with other sweeteners such as honey (not vegan), liquid stevia, powdered jaggery, etc if you wish to.
Add a few strands of saffron while brewing the tea for a richer tea.
You can also add 4-5 fresh mint leaves to the recipe for minty notes.
To give the tea a spicy (masala) taste, add a few crushed black peppercorns and ground ginger.
How To Make Sulaimani Chai
Lightly crush 2-3 cloves, ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick, and 2 whole green cardamoms in a mortar and pestle.
Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan along with 1 teaspoon grated ginger, and crushed spices.
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the water simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon black tea leaves (or 1 tea bag) and let the tea simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and strain the tea into 2 serving cups using a tea strainer.
Add ½ teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice to each cup and stir well. Serve immediately!
Sulaimani Tea & Malayalam Movie Ustad Hotel
The Malayalam movie Ustaad Hotel is set in the city of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. In the film, the protagonist’s grandfather is a legendary hotelier who runs a traditional Sulaimani tea house.
While the film is not specifically about Sulaimani tea, it does showcase the importance of this unique beverage in Iraqi culture. The film’s depiction of the close-knit community that gathers at the tea house every day is a beautiful portrayal of Sulaimani tea’s role in bringing people together.
If you are looking for a heartwarming film with great food, then be sure to check out Ustad Hotel. And don’t forget to try some Sulaimani tea while you’re at it!
In the Malabar region, hot Sulaimani tea is enjoyed after a heavy lunch of Thalassery Biryani. This refreshing tea is a popular afternoon beverage in many Malabar homes after a hearty meal or after celebratory meals.
Malabar tea is known for its digestive properties and hence is served after a heavy meal during festivals and marriages.
You can also serve a cup of Sulaimani with your breakfast or even during your evening tea.
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Sulaimani Chai Recipe (Malabar Spiced Tea)
- 2-3 cloves (laung)
- ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 2 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon black tea leaves (chai patti) (or 1 tea bag)
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Lightly crush cloves, cinnamon stick, and cardamoms in a mortar and pestle.
- Add water to a saucepan along with ginger, and crushed spices.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
- Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let the water simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and tea and let the tea simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and strain the tea into 2 serving cups using a tea strainer.
- Add ½ teaspoon lime juice to each cup and stir well. Serve immediately!