Kahwa is a delicious spiced green tea beverage from the lovely state Kashmir, located in the north tip of India by the Himalayan Mountain region. This traditional beverage is warm, comforting and the perfect treatment for keeping overall good health in cold harsh climates. Kahwa is also served often after large meals and feasts to help aid in the digestion process.
Naturally, there are many variations to this recipe - especially when it comes to the different spices available. Traditionally, spices like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger are the main ingredients but you can also add cloves and saffron. Generally, milk is usually not added but if you like milk in your tea – then by all means go ahead and add it.
Do not discard the tea leaves/spices after straining the tea, rather they make a wonderful “food” to add to your plants – especially rose bushes are said to flourish with these special tea leaves and spice remains.
Kashmiri Green Tea is available in most Indian grocery stores, specialty markets and fine tea shops. If Kashmiri Green Tea is not available, Nilgiri loose leaf tea is a good substitute.
KAHWA (Spiced Kashmiri Green Tea)
2 tbsp Kashmiri Green Tea (loose leaf variety is best)
2-3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 stick of cinnamon (2” long)
2 slices of fresh ginger, lightly crushed (optional)
8-10 almonds, blanched & finely chopped (or you could use pistachios if you wanted)
sugar, to taste (or you could also use your favorite flavor of honey)
1 good pinch of saffron – optional
a drop or two of rose water or rose essence - optional
In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, combine 3 cups of water along the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves and fresh slices of ginger. Bring to a gentle boil, remove the saucepan completely from the heat and add the tea leaves. Mix well to combine and allow the tea to steep for about 4-5 minutes. Then strain the tea into a teapot. Now add the sugar (or honey) along with saffron, nuts and rose water. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients and let the tea sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
If you have organic edible rose petals available, feel free to add a few in along with the other spices.
Feel free to add a few strips of orange peel as well along with the other spices.
You could also add a mint leaf or even tulsi (Indian holy basil) to the tea along with the sugar and nuts.