Sometimes it felt amazing to go back to the childhood days especially through own writings. To see pages full with description of mental dilemma that a teenager went through and even different plans on how to talk to the teenage crush; pages on why the teenage girl was not happy with her father’s take on going out with friends and even description of what happened with the best friend and her then boyfriend and suddenly realizing that those are actually the glimpses of my teenage years! A few days back Maa came to my place with some of my diaries!
Yes, I used to write a diary during my teen years and Maa kept those diaries at our North Calcutta house for years. I literally went through seven diaries and revisited a beautiful part of my childhood! The diary number two was from the year 1997 when I just entered teen! The diary has the description of my first trip to Kashmir valley; that unforgettable seventeen days of my life that includes getting stuck at Pahalgam for 6 long days thanks to the landslide. I kind of get back to those days through the pages of my diary; I even found what we eat there at that time and then there’s a mention of a pink colored drink in the yellowish pages of my diary! A famous Kashmiri beverage it is; nothing but the Kashmir’s famous Pink Tea or Noon Chai.
A pink colored beverage topped with chopped nuts (especially Pistachios and Almond) Pink Tea is an amazing treat for sure and here I am with my post on Noon chai that I finally made a day before! It is not that I didn’t know what I need to present in this post; it is not that I didn’t know the taste and even it is not that I haven’t sketched it in mind while planning three months back! Yes, I am planning for last three months to write about a cup full of “Chai”; which obviously is not the typical Chai that we have had every day instead of something more royal this time which is nothing but Pink Tea or Noon Chai; a beverage from the Kashmir valley.
As I mentioned I had it for the first time when I was around twelve or thirteen years old during our unsuccessful attempt of visiting Amarnath Temple in 1997. I am not a fan of tea since childhood but this particular tea is an exception and when I had it for the first time I was quite amazed. At that time I was not aware of the intricacies but obviously, the foodie mind of mine reminded this drink since then. After that, I had it several times at Delhi Haat. Though I was planning for the post while reading my diary and when I saw the set of Arabian cup and saucers that Mehebub brought from Riyadh for me, I planned to shape the post and obviously after cherishing my cup of Pink Tea a.k.a Kashmiri Noon Chai.
Coming to Kashmiri Pink Tea or Noon Chai, as the name suggests the tea is pink in color which is due to the use of Baking Soda while making it! Apart from Soda, Salt is also added to Pink Tea and hence it is called Noon Chai. I prefer to add little Sugar along with the salt. The Tea leaves used in making pink tea is not the typical tea leaves but Kashmiri Kahwa Green Tea (please see below the link for buying the tea). Apart from the ingredients mentioned Spices (Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Star Anise) are also added for flavoring.
The tea is topped with chopped Pistachios and Almond and the end result is something beautiful and rich as the valley of Kashmir itself. I have tried making the Pink Tea several times and never able to make it properly and almost after 5 failed attempts I finally able to get the perfect color for the tea! So the tricks are basically the result of trial and error.
To Purchase Kashmiri Kahwa Tea!
- Serves: 4 Cup
- Serving size: 150ml
- Calories: 133
- Fat: 5.3g
- Saturated fat: 2.7g
- Carbohydrates: 18.2g
- Sugar: 15.4g
- Sodium: 475mg
- Fiber: 1.3g
- Protein: 5g
- Cholesterol: 18mg
- Kashmiri Green Tea (Kahwa): 3 Tbsp.
- Chopped Pistachio: 2 Tsp.
- Chopped Almond: 2 Tsp.
- Cinnamon stick: 2”
- Green Cardamom: 5-6
- Star Anise: 1
- Baking Soda: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: ½ Tsp.
- Sugar: 3 Tbsp.
- Full-Fat Milk: ½ Litre
- Cold Water: ½ Litre
- Ice cubes: 1 Cup
- Take Coldwater and Ice Cubes in a deep bottom vessel.
- Start boiling the water along with Kashmiri Green Tea (Kahwa), Green Cardamom, Cinnamon Stick, and Star Anise.
- Boil until the water reduces to ⅓ of the same in slow flame. It will take around 30 minutes.
- Add Salt and Baking Soda to the Tea liquor and give the mixture a stir. The Tea should turn frothy at this point.
- Stir using a spoon and bring it to boil again.
- Now add Milk and boil for around 5-6 minutes in low flame.
- Now add Sugar and boil for 1 minute until sugar dissolves completely.
- Switch the flame off and strain the tea using a strainer.
- The Tea should have a light pink color.
- Pour the tea into the desired cup and top it with chopped Pistachios and Almond and serve hot.
Adding Sugar is optional. The authentic version does not contain sugar.
Have you tried the Kashmiri Noon Chai Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.