Kashmiri Sheer Chai
Sheer Chai (also called Noon Chai, Kashmiri Salted Tea, Pink Tea and Gulabi chai) is a traditional tea beverage from Kashmir. It is a part of Kashmiri culture to drink this beverage two to three times a day with traditional Kashmiri breads like Sheermal and Bakarkhani.
- Prep Time5Minutes
- Cooking Time10Minutes
- Water- 4 cups
- Whole milk- 1 ½ cups
- Tea leaves (Black / Green)- 1 tsp
- Ground Green Cardamom- 2 gm
- Baking Soda- a pinch
- Cinnamon Sticks-1/2 inch piece
- Crushed Peppercorns- 1/2 gm
- Poppy seeds-2 gm
- Fresh cream- 30 ml
- Pistachio nuts, crushed- 2 gm
- Powdered Almonds- 5 gm
- Saffron-1/4 th gm
- The Sheer Chai is a pinkish and queer tasting drink for people who have not tasted it. It is made of salt, black tea, sugar and soda. The peculiar color of the pinkish tea is because of the addition of soda.
- Pour water in a large pan and add tea leaves, salt, seeds of green cardamom and bicarbonate of soda to it.
- Bring to boil and then simmer quickly for 05-08 minutes or until it reduces 3/4th its original quantity.
- A burgundy/dark pinkish film will appear on the surface which indicates that it is boiled to the desired level.
- While it is still boiling, add the cinnamon bark, poppy seeds, crushed peppercorns and cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 02 minutes.
- Remove from heat, take the boiled tea in the ladle and raise the level of the ladle about 8-10 inches and pour the tea back to the pan. Repeat it for at least ten to twenty times. This will bring a change in the colour of tea
- Stop the process when you find the colour becomes peachy/ burgundy with a prominent pink tinge and let it sit for a while. Strain the tea and keep it aside.
- Boil the milk with ground cardamom over low heat and add the prepared tea blend to it.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes over low heat.
- Remove from heat and pour into the cups which are already filled with crushed almonds and pistachios. Spoon the thick cream or malai and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pistachio over it to garnish. Add few strands of saffron on the top.
My Tip: 1. Adding excess amount of baking soda will sweeten the tea even if sugar is not used to prepare it. Also be careful to use the correct proportion of tea leaves because the desired pinkish colour will not be obtained if more than the required amount of tea leaves are used. 2. If green tea is used do not boil only infuse in hot water or the flavour will be lost.