Monday, 12 December 2011

KAHWA (KASHMIRI SPICED AROMATIC TEA)

Home is where the heart is.  One tries to find solace in things that bring even the smallest reminiscence of home. There are time when I miss my home town so much. Being near the foothills of Shiwalik mountain range and located on the banks of the river Yamuna it gets very cold during winters; the freezing Himalayan winds make the matters worse.

Central heating was unheard of during those days and room heaters were not very popular either. To fight the chill we relied heavily on traditional ways to keep our body warm – thick heavy quilt for the nights and cups of tea and coffee during the day. Traditional concoctions were other ways to beat the winter chill – herbal infusion made with spices called ‘kahda’ is one such brew. My favourite used to a sweet creamy concoction made with dry ginger, which was Mom’s special. She would give a tea spoon of it with a hot glass of milk. The other was a runny and delicious gruel made with gram flour. These two were given to us alternately every day each morning. So potent were the traditional concoctions that we never had flu or caught a cold or ever fell sick.

Now, given a choice I would have a steaming cup of coffee over tea but I don't mind flavoured teas without milk. However, since my husband is not fond of spiced tea so I do not make Kahwa (also known as Kehwa or Qèhwa) very often; actually I am sort of lazy when I have to cook something for just myself.

Winters are in full swing in north and north eastern states of India; in fact the upper regions of Jammu & Kashmir state are going to experience snowfall anytime soon. Despite it being the winters, we here at Bombay have yet to experience the season. However, this does not deter me from making this lovely spiced Kashmiri tea. Kahwa or Kehwa is the traditional drink from Kashmir, though its origins are a matter of debate as some believe that its origins lay in China while those in India beg to differ J
(This tea is also very popular in Afghanistan & Pakistan)

The tea is made with Kashmiri green tea leaves but any other green tea would do. Traditionally in Kashmir, this tea is made in a samovar which is a brass kettle. To make the tea aromatic, spices such as saffron, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom are infused and the concoction is then served in tiny shallow cups with crushed nuts such as walnuts or almonds (which are grown locally) along with sugar or honey. This tea is supposed to help alleviate headache. It is also believed to be good for stomach. In fact, Ayurveda believes that sipping hot water after meals helps in keeping one slim and washes away the fats from the body.

Here is the list of ingredients required for the tea:

2 teaspoons Green tea
2 cloves
3 cardamoms 
1 stick cinnamon
3 almonds, chopped
1-2 pinches saffron
3 tsp sugar/ honey (or as per taste)
3 cups water 

Pour 3 cups of water in a vessel and bring to a boil. 
Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and sugar. 
Stir on low heat until sugar dissolves.
Simmer the water for 3 minutes, keeping the vessel covered.
Add the green tea leaves and immediately turn off the heat. 
Let the tea sit in the water for a minutes. (for stronger tea you can leave the tea in water for 2-3 minutes)
Divide the almonds and saffron and place in the tea cups.
Pour the tea (I sieved it) over the saffron and almond pieces.
Serve hot.


Makes 2-3 cups


Thanks for stopping by and see you again!


Linked post to Amy's Midweek Fiesta


Post linked to Winter Carnival event hosted by Radhika of Ticklingpalates blog

37 comments:

  1. Wow.. I loved reading this post. It was beautifully written and I could almost feel the cold weather. This tea looks amazing.. I love the addition of saffron! Well done! :)

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  2. sounds hearty n irresistable..
    gorgeous cliks..;)
    Tasty Appetite

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  3. Wonderful presentation! Now all I need is a cup of tea! Thanks for visiting me and for your nice words :)

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  4. This does indeed tame the winter beast - and calm nerves. Love spiced drinks in the winter.

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  5. Hey, I could smell it from here! Hahaha! Why don't u invite me over :)
    Dropping by from Shirley's Luxury Haven

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  6. This sounds absolutely delicious - perfect cuppa - looking forward to trying :)
    Mary x

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  7. Your Kahwa with green tea looks very good in those pretty cups.I would really love to try this.

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  8. I'm sure this tea would provide a calming effect to any one =)

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  9. Oddly, even though I know that the Himalayas are part of India, I always think of it as a very warm, jungle filled country. Rudyard Kipling did that to me! The flavors in that tea must be very comforting.

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  10. oh this tea looks so calming and perfect!

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  11. delicious looking tea looks wonderful for anytime

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  12. Wow! I love this healthy and refreshing tea, beautiful presentation too.

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  13. that is very good for afternoon.

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  14. Very apt for the season. Thanx for sharing this wonderful recipe.

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  15. I love warming up with a nice warm drink in winter! This sounds like a delicious tea itself, but even better with your memories!

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  16. It is amazing how a single beverage can make all the difference in a day. We have people that say, don't talk to me until I have drank my tea or coffee!
    Your tea does look very comforting and there are definitely some avid tea drinkers in my family-glad to come across this. Have a great day!

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  17. This sounds very interesting. :D Have a great day!

    http://cookism.tumblr.com

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  18. This tea looks so soothing and wonderful! A cup of tea really perks me up for the day. I love the little mugs too. So pretty!

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  19. I enjoyed your story very much. I'd love to know how to make your mother's special ginger, creamy concoction. Pretty please? Let me know it if you do make it and post it. Thanks.

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  20. That tea looks so so comforting, I love honey in the tea as well, it adds such a great flavor and natural sweetness.

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  21. I cannot imagine passing a winter without heating. A thick quilt would not be enough in Canada lol. But upon getting home from a cold day this tea sounds wonderful. Cinnamon and cardamom is good for clearing the lungs and coughs so no wonder you were not sick.

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  22. Wow...such beautiful spices in this tea! I love tea and drink it often. And this sweetly spiced concoction sounds wonderful. And your tea mugs are so beautiful! : )

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  23. Ohhh my god this type of kawa in my hand :) i drink this super delicious tea. and it's was great.ur recipe is really really nice must try today evening time. This is very good in winter and cold.

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  24. This hot cup of tea is ideal for a cold winter day! First time at your blog you have some beautiful recipes here!

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  25. This sounds so delightful, just the thing to warm you up on a cool winters night. I know what you mean about missing home - it's difficult living far away! I have been to Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna river, but it was Fall when I visited.

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  26. Love the composition, props and photos :) I am off to get me some tea!

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  27. This tea sounds wonderful! I imagine it would be great for someone who isn't feeling the best and needs a boost. Love that you have used green tea as the base!

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  28. I'm a green tea lover, and I would love to try this!

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  29. wow..that tea sounds wonderful...I always like spiced tea !

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  30. I'm the other way around - I'll take hot tea over coffee any day! This sounds like the perfect way to warm up!

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  31. I drink green tea (and other tea) all day long, yet I never come up with any other spices to go with it. I have to try this out since I have every ingredient at home!

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  32. Beautifully written post with lovely pictures! I for one have never heard of Kahwa before so thank you for posting this recipe. Perfect for this season.

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  33. sounds very tasty!!& want to try green tea in this way....
    Thanks a lot for linking with Midweek Fiesta.Hope to see you on next week too….
    Midweek Fiesta

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  34. I like the pictures of this tea. It looks very very nice.

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  36. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike was Additional Blogs Which I Have read are really not good.

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