It’s a sure sign that winter has finally arrived in Karachi when Kashmiri Chai (or simply known as Pink Chai) starts being served at weddings. There’s just something about the steaming cup of chai in the prettiest color of pink, flavored with a bit of cardamom, and then garnished with almonds and pistas/pistachios that just spells comfort. For years, Kashmiri Chai has always been a Shaadi special till one day my friends made it following a recipe they found on the back of this brand of green tea and achieved that elusive pink color. From then on, I have been using the same recipe (which is the basic Kashmiri Chai recipe) but have just made improved the technique with trial and error and tips from my mother.
|Kashmiri Chai – The Process|
The tea used for Kashmiri Chai is easily available in Lahore & Islamabad with the name ‘Kashmiri Chai’ leaves, with Gul-e-Nasreen also being a popular brand. In Karachi, the best leaves I have personally found are at Empress market. The Gul Bahar (available in a green sachet) brand bay Tapal easily available in supermarkets can also be used.
|Kashmiri Chai – Letting it boil to half the quantity after adding the green tea leaves|
|Kashmiri Chai – Creating the pink color|
|Pink Kashmiri Chai|
Note: The real Kashmiri style chai by the Kashmiri’s always has salt in it and never salt. Its actually considered a travesty to add sugar to it.
|Kashmiri Chai garnished with almonds and pistachios|