Sulaimani Chai (Malabar Spiced Tea)

5 from 5 votes

Sulaimani Chai (Malabar Spiced Tea) is an Indian black tea recipe flavored with whole spices and made without adding milk. It is quite popular in the Malabar region of India.

Here are some of my other favorite tea recipes that you may like: Ground Sumac Tea, Passion Fruit Iced Tea, Mango Iced Tea, Iced Mango Green Tea, and Hibiscus Tea.

Sulaimani tea served in a glass.
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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 on the Malabar coast of India and in Hyderabad’s old city.

It is an integral part of the lifestyle of the Mappila Muslim community living on the Malabar coast of Kerala. Many roadside stalls (tea shops) sell this ambrosial sweet-sour tea.

The tea is brewed with mixed whole spices and black tea powder until golden (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.

History Of Sulaimani Chai

Sulaimani tea is said to have originated in the Arabian Peninsula. The name comes from the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq, where the tea is said to have been first brewed. According to legend, an angel gave the prophet Mohammed this special recipe.

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 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.” The locals of the Malabar region of India gave the Arabs this name because of their good friendship. Since the Arabs introduced this tea to the Malabar people, they started to call it Sulemani Chai.

Ingredients

Sulaimani tea ingredients.

To make the traditional Sulemani tea, you need a few simple ingredients: 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.

You can replace sugar with other sweeteners such as honey (not vegan), liquid stevia, powdered jaggery, etc.

Add a few strands of saffron while brewing the tea to make it richer.

You can also add 4-5 fresh mint leaves to the recipe for minty notes.

Add a few crushed black peppercorns and ground ginger to give the tea a spicy (masala) taste.

How To Make Sulaimani Chai

Lightly crush 2-3 cloves, ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick, and 2 green cardamoms in a mortar and pestle.

Crushed spices.

Add 2 cups of water to a saucepan along with 1 teaspoon grated ginger and crushed spices.

Water, crushed spices and ginger added to a pan.

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.

Water simmering.

Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon black tea leaves (or 1 tea bag) and let the tea simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Sugar and tea added to the pan.
Brewed tea.

Remove the pan from the heat and strain the tea into 2 serving cups using a tea strainer.

Tea strained in a cup.

Add ½ teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice to each cup and stir well. Serve immediately!

Lime juice added to the ready sulaimani tea.

Serving Suggestions

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 is served after a heavy meal during festivals and marriages.

You can also serve a cup of Sulaimani with breakfast or evening tea.

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Sulaimani Tea (Malabar Spiced Chai) 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).
5 from 5 votes

Sulaimani Chai Recipe (Malabar Spiced Tea)

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.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 12 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 cloves (laung)
  • ½ inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 2 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
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Instructions 

  • 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!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can replace sugar with other sweeteners such as honey (not vegan), liquid stevia, powdered jaggery, etc.
Add a few strands of saffron while brewing the tea to make it richer.

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 10mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg
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