Kahwa or Kashmiri kahwa Tea recipe with step by step pics. 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 it warming for the body which suits the cold climate of kashmir.
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.
Kahwa tea ingredients
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- Nuts – slivered or sliced almonds are commonly added in kahwa. In place of almonds, walnuts can also be used.
- 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 3 minutes in the hot water. Kahwa tea is ready to be strained and served.
Kahwa can be served as an after lunch or dinner tea. You can even have kahwa tea as an evening drink.
Preparation for making kahwa tea
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.
2. Take the cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms in a mortar-pestle. Crush them lightly.
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.
Making kahwa tea
4. In a saucepan, take 2 cups water. Place saucepan on the stove-top on a medium flame.
5. Add the lightly crushed spices in the water.
6. Add 5 to 6 dried rose petals. You can skip rose petals.
7. Add 2 tablespoons sugar or add as per taste.
8. Let the water come to a gentle boil on a medium flame.
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.
10. Cover the pan with its lid and steep green leaves in the hot water for 3 minutes.
11. After 3 minutes, pour kahwa tea in small cups using a tea strainer.
12. Add 3 to 4 saffron strands and sliced almonds in each cup.
13. Serve kahwa and enjoy this fragrant mild green tea.
Few more similar recipes you may like are:
- 2 cups water - 500 ml
- 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 or add as required
- 4 to 5 almonds sliced or crushed or chopped - optional
- 10 to 12 strands of saffron - optional
preparation for kahwa
- 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 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.
- In a saucepan, take 2 cups water. Place saucepan on the stove-top on a medium flame.
- Add the lightly crushed spices and dried rose petals in the water.
- Add 2 tablespoons 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 1 teaspoon 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.