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Welcome warmth in winter with Kashmiri Kahwa tea
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Welcome warmth in winter with Kashmiri Kahwa tea

This recipe is a perfect blend of mild green tea, whole spices, saffron, and nuts – a soothing remedy for the winter blues
a cup with kashmiri kahwa tea
Representational image| Shutterstock

Kashmiri Kahwa is an aromatic green tea infused with subtle flavours of whole spices, saffron, and nuts like almonds, pistachio, or walnuts. The use of whole aromatic spices and saffron makes Kahwa tea warming for the body. This tea recipe is perfect to ward off winter chills.

Apart from the great taste, Kahwa packs in some health benefits too. It provides warmth and helps combat minor flu symptoms and chest congestion. Yash Agarwal, nutritionist, celebrity fitness coach, and founder of Yash Fitness, Kolkata, says, “Kahwa tea is low in calories and is rich in antioxidants. It may aid with digestion and boost metabolism. It is also a good immunity booster.”

He adds that even though Kashmiri Kahwa tea leaves are available at most supermarkets, making it yourself allows you to use the ingredients as per your taste buds and the seasons.

Antioxidants in abundance

Green tea has a lot of antioxidants such as polyphenols. It also contains caffeine and has trace amounts of vitamins, amino acids, and carbohydrates. A 2019 review study published in Nutrients revealed that regular intake of green tea can potentially lead to improvement in brain function, reduction of stress and a reduced risk of certain diseases.

The Kahwa tea is largely a concoction of two spices – cardamom and cinnamon. Alongside these spices, some variations also use cloves and saffron to bring a unique flavour to the tea.

Kahwa in samovar

Typically, Kahwa in Kashmir is prepared in samovar, a large copper pot or metal container traditionally used to boil water or brew tea. In a home kitchen, one can prepare Kahwa in a pan. Experts recommend consuming Kahwa tea in the evening or after lunch, especially during winters.

Agarwal recommends consuming Kashmiri Kahwa during winter for following reasons:

  • Feeling of warmth: The warm temperature of Kahwa helps combat the cold weather, providing a comforting and soothing effect.
  • Appealing to the taste buds: The blend of aromatic spices such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon not only acts as a flavour enhancer but also contributes to the warming sensation, which can be especially enjoyable in colder months.
  • Boosting metabolism: The combination of green tea and spices in Kahwa is believed to have a metabolism-boosting effect. This benefits people during the winter when they may be less active and their metabolism is disturbed.
  • Rich in antioxidants: The tea and spices in Kashmiri Kahwa are rich in antioxidants, which may help support the immune system, protecting against cold and flu.

Adding nutrients with nuts: Including almonds, pistachios, or other nuts provides an additional nutrient boost which can help improve vitality.

Here is the Kashmiri Kahwa tea recipe:

Servings: 2

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp organic sugar or according to taste (or honey)
  • 4-5 strands of saffron
  • ½ tablespoon dried rose petals
  • 4-5 almonds and pistachios – cut into thin strips

Methods 

  • Grind cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon to a coarse powder and keep aside.
  • In a saucepan, bring water to a boil, add in the organic sugar and the spice mix. (You can also skip adding organic sugar and add honey at the end)
  • Allow it to boil for 1 minute and turn off the flame.
  • Next, steep the green tea leaves for a few minutes in hot (not boiling) water to maintain the freshness and natural flavour.
  • In a small bowl, mix a few saffron strands in a spoonful of warm water. Allow the saffron strands to partially dissolve.
  • Add the soaked saffron to the tea. You can also add rose petals to this mix.
  • Strain and pour into warm teacups (pour some warm water into the cups to heat them). Garnish with almonds, pistachios and saffron strain and serve immediately.
  • Enjoy the warm and comforting Kashmiri Kahwa during the winter season.

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