Kahwa | Kashmiri Kahwa

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Kahwa is a fragrant, mild green tea made with whole spices, saffron, almonds and originally from the Kashmiri cuisine. Kahwa is a warming tea and always had hot. Using whole spices and saffron makes Kashmiri Kahwa warming for the body which suits the cold climate of kashmir.

kashmiri kahwa served in two silver cups in a round brass plate

Kahwa, my favorite tea!

Kahwa is one of my favorite ways to have Green Tea and I am addicted to it. Every evening and sometimes after lunch, I make for myself a cup of kahwa chai.

It refreshes, rejuvenates, relaxes, soothes, calms and makes you feel good. Yes, the saffron and green tea doing their work.

I have also made kahwa chai with the premade kahwa tea available in the market. Honestly speaking, I prefer to make kahwa with green tea leaves and add the spices myself according to the season.

This Kashmiri kahwa recipe also shows you how to make a perfect cup of kahwa with the spices you have and drive your blues away.

This is how I make kahwa and I am sharing the method. It may not be authentic but it is good and you will love kahwa made this way.

Kashmiri kahwa tea served in 2 small silver cups. a brass strainer filled with green tea leaves, spices, rose petals, saffron kept as the side.

Ingredients you need

  1. Green tea leaves – Use any good brand of green tea leaves – preferably better to use organic green tea leaves. Some variations of kahwa are also made without green tea. Only spices are added. So you can even make kahwa without adding green tea.
  2. Spices – Essentially kahwa is made up basically two spices – cardamom and cinnamon. Apart from these two fragrant spices, some variations also use cloves and saffron.
  3. Rose petals – For some mild sweet fragrant notes, I also add dried rose petals. I dry the rosebuds from my balcony garden and use them in kahwa. Rose petals are an optional ingredient and you can skip them.
  4. Nuts – Slivered or sliced almonds are commonly added in kahwa. In place of almonds, walnuts can also be used.
  5. Sweetener – for the sweetener, I use unrefined cane sugar. Honey is also added, but I do not recommend adding honey to a hot brewed tea as honey gets poisonous when it gets heated. For a sugar-free kahwa, just skip adding sugar.

How to brew a perfect Kahwa

Kahwa is made in copper pots known as samovar in kashmir. These are large pots where the tea is brewed. In a home kitchen, kahwa is made in a pan. Some people prefer to boil the green tea leaves for a couple of minutes.

I steep the green tea leaves for a few minutes in hot water (not boiling water). I have had tea made with green tea leaves boiled in water and it just spoils the delicate taste & flavor of green tea.

Sometimes the tea has bitter notes too. Since I am very sensitive to taste, I can immediately find if the tea leaves have been steeped or boiled – be it green tea or black tea.

In this kahwa recipe, the spices are lightly crushed to release their flavors and then simmered for 2 to 3 minutes.

The flame is switched off, pan kept on the countertop, green tea leaves are added and then steeped for 2 to 3 minutes in the hot water. Kahwa tea is ready to be strained and served.

When to add saffron?

I do not add saffron when brewing tea as to why waste expensive saffron. The tea leaves, spices, saffron are strained and the saffron goes waste. One is not going to search for the saffron strands in the strained tea mixture.

This sounds economical. It just does not make sense to me to boil the saffron and then waste it. It makes more sense to add the saffron in the cup itself and have the tea and saffron both.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Kashmiri Kahwa

Preparation

1. Get all the spices ready before you start making kahwa. You will need 2 inches cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves, 5 to 6 dried rose petals – optional and 10 to 12 strands of saffron. Do use true cinnamon and not cassia cinnamon.

spices, saffron, rose petals for kahwa


2. Take the cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms in a mortar-pestle. Crush them lightly.

spices being crushed in a mortar-pestle

3. Slice 4 to 5  almonds thinly. Almonds can be crushed also in the mortar-pestle. You can even use 2 to 3 walnuts in place of almonds – chop them and add. Optionally, you can rinse the almonds before slicing them.

almonds being sliced for kahwa

Making kahwa tea

4. In a saucepan, take 2 cups water. Place saucepan on the stove-top on a medium flame.

water in a sauce pan

5. Add the lightly crushed spices in the water.

crushed spices added in the water

6. Add 5 to 6 dried rose petals. You can skip rose petals.

dried rose petals added to water

7. Add 2 tablespoons sugar or add as per taste.

sugar being added in the pan

8. Let the water come to a gentle boil on a medium flame.

water being simmered to a gentle boil in the pan

9. Switch off the flame. Place the pan on the kitchen counter-top. Add 1 teaspoon green tea. You can add less or more green tea leaves as you prefer.

green tea leaves added to hot water

10. Cover the pan with its lid and steep green leaves in the hot water for 2 to 3 minutes.

pan covered with lid

11. After 2 to 3 minutes, pour kahwa tea in small cups using a tea strainer.

kahwa being strained

12. Add 3 to 4 saffron strands and sliced almonds in each cup and stir.

saffron strands and sliced almonds added to kahwa tea

13. Serve kahwa and enjoy this fragrant mild green tea. Kashmiri kahwa can be served as an after lunch or dinner tea. You can even have kahwa tea as an evening drink.

kahwa chai

Ingredient swaps

  • Sweeteners: You can add your preferred sweetener or skip them.
  • Spices: You could skip cloves if you do not have these but green cardamoms and cinnamon are essential.
  • Rose petals: Being an exotic ingredient, omit rose petals, if you do not have them.
  • Saffron: I know saffron is an expensive spice and if you do not have it, then simply skip it.
Tips

Helpful Tips

  • Brewing time: I usually brew green tea for 2 to 3 minutes. Depending on the grade and quality of the leaves, the brewing time can vary from 2 to 5 minutes. Do not steep or brew the leaves for a longer time as this will make the tea bitter.
  • Including honey: I do not suggest adding honey as a sweetener. As per Ayurveda honey becomes toxic when heated or when dissolved in hot liquids.
  • Where to buy: Green tea leaves can be brought from any health store, super store or online. Kahwa pre-made mixes can be purchased online.

More Tea and Coffee!

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kahwa

Kahwa | Kashmiri Kahwa

5 from 6 votes
Kahwa is a Kashmiri tea made with cinnamon, cardamom, saffron and green tea. Kashmiri kahwa is aromatic, delicately spiced, light green tea.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Steeping Time 3 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Cuisine Indian, Kashmiri
Course: Beverages
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 3 small cups
Units

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 inches cinnamon (dalchini) – use true cinnamon and not cassia cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms (choti elaichi)
  • 2 cloves (lavang)
  • 5 to 6 dried rose petals – optional
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or add as per taste
  • 1 teaspoon green tea leaves or add as required
  • 4 to 5 almonds (sliced or crushed or chopped) – optional
  • 10 to 12 saffron strands – optional

Instructions

Preparation

  • Get all the spices ready before you start making kahwa.
  • Take the cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms in a mortar-pestle. Crush them lightly.
  • Slice almonds thinly. Almonds can be crushed also in the mortar-pestle. You can even use 2 to 3 walnuts in place of almonds – chop them and add.

Making kahwa

  • In a saucepan, take the water. Place saucepan on the stove-top on a medium flame.
  • Add the lightly crushed spices and dried rose petals in the water.
  • Add sugar or add as per taste.
  • Let the water come to a gentle boil on a medium flame.
  • Switch off the flame. Place the pan on the kitchen counter-top. Add green tea. You can add less or more green tea leaves as you prefer.
  • Cover the pan with its lid and steep green leaves in the hot water for 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes, pour kahwa tea in small cups using a tea strainer.
  • Add 3 to 4 saffron strands and sliced almonds in each cup.
  • Serve kahwa and enjoy this fragrant mild green tea.

Notes

Ingredient swaps

  • Sweeteners: You can add your preferred sweetener or skip them.
  • Spices: You could skip cloves if you do not have these but green cardamoms and cinnamon are essential.
  • Rose petals:  Omit rose petals, if you do not have them.
  • Saffron: If you do not have saffron, then simply skip them.

Helpful notes

  • Brewing time: I usually brew green tea for 2 to 3 minutes. Depending on the grade and quality of the leaves, the brewing time will vary from 2 to 5 minutes. Do not steep or brew the leaves for a longer time as this will make the tea bitter.
  • Including honey: I do not suggest adding honey as a sweetener. As per Ayurveda honey becomes toxic when heated or when dissolved in hot liquids.
  • Where to buy: Green tea leaves can be brought from any health store, super store or online. Kahwa pre-made mixes can be purchased online.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Kahwa | Kashmiri Kahwa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 14mg1%
Potassium 72mg2%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 18IU0%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Calcium 24mg2%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 3µg1%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 17mg4%
Phosphorus 15mg2%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.

6 Comments

  1. I tried and it was delicious like all your other recipes. Quick question: where did you get these cups from?5 stars

    1. thanks for the feedback and rating. i have got these from a store on facebook & instagram which specializes in selling antique ware. these are expensive since they are antique.

  2. Lovely recipe ! My friend gave me kashmiri green tea leaves …… how long are they good for . Thank you for all you . Just made banana bread today n it was delicious ???? God bless !5 stars

    1. thank you roshni for your kind wishes. green tea leaves will be good for about 6 months in an air-tight container at room temperature. hope this helps.

  3. hi dassana! simply loved it.it’s a perfect mix of spices & thank u once again for sharing your recipe5 stars

    1. thank you meveera. i am glad you liked the recipe. thanks again and welcome.