When you think of traditional Kashmiri beverages, the first thing to cross your mind is the nutty and aromatic ‘Kahwa’ and we do not blame you. The phenomenal green tea has transcended boundaries and has become a staple in cafes across the country. But to think that is all the valley has to offer for beverages, would be a gross mistake. Kashmir is home to many phenomenal tea preparations, one of them being the ‘Noon Chai’. Also known as ‘sheer chai, ‘gulabi chai’ or ‘pink tea’, ‘Noon Chai’ is one of valley’s subtle tea preparations that is renowned not only for its awe-striking colour but also for its sweet-savoury taste. The delicate drink is made with brewing tea leaves with a pinch of salt. Yes, you read that right. ‘Noon’ is actually another word for salt, and salt here has a huge role to play in enhancing the flavour of the tea. It is incredibly effective in warding off the winter blues, what gives this tea its characteristic light pink colour is baking soda. Baking soda in combination with green tea imparts a lovely pink colour to the tea.

Now without further ado, here’s how you can make Kashmiri Noon Chai at home. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 teaspoon of long leaf green tea
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp crushed elaichi powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cup of milk

Method:

1. Boil tea leaves and water until you see the bubbles.

2. Add baking soda and whisk for about 10 seconds.

3. Add cardamom powder and brew till it is red in colour.  

4. Lower the flame, bring it to medium. Add milk and whisk using a spoon until your tea turns pink.  

5. Now add salt and stir nicely until everything is mixed.  

You can add sugar later for taste, but since milk has that mellow quality about itself, sugar won’t be required in this tea.