There are certain “C” words that I love when in the kitchen. It is especially true when it comes to spices. My favourite and indispensable spices all being with C — Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander seed, Cumin.
If you have these in your pantry, you have some of the Indian cooking Essentials. For example, Garam Masala uses them as a strong, warming basis.
But did you know that you can also make a very special infused tea from these same spices?
I first came across this beautiful tea in a small shop in a tiny village in South India that was run by Kashmiris. They served me a magnificent, golden, very subtle and very aromatic liquid that was intoxicatingly India and very special in taste.
It is so simple, incredibly exotic, and includes saffron which gives it a beautiful subtle flavour and wonderful colour.
Saffron, when used in small amounts has such a wonderful, subtle taste, and an aroma to match. The golden colour that permeates the food or liquid is golden. Too much saffron will taste bitter.
The taste is very very subtle – no punch here. Drink slowly while sitting with mind clear, or after doing yoga, or meditation. Try it and tell me what you think.
Golden Saffron Spiced Tea
Play with the amounts until you get a blend that suits your taste. Start with what I suggest and then adjust each time you make it.
For a pot:
4 cloves, or more if they are small. Sometimes I use up to 10!
4 cardamom pods
2cm piece cinnamon
1 pinch strands of saffron
Crush the spices roughly in a mortar – no need to grind them at all, just to break them up a little. Place in a teapot, pour hot water over and allow to seep for 5 minutes. This will allow the saffron time to develop colour, and the flavour from the spices to emerge. Strain into a special teacup and sip slowly.
Aaaah! How relaxed you feel.
recipe notes and alternatives
For a variation, add 0.5 tspn coriander seed and a few cumin seeds.
Play around with the spice proportions until you find the ratios that suit you. You may find that you like more of one or more spices than the others.
Kashmiri Kahwa Tea
To make the traditional Kahwa tea, add to the above:
1 tspn Kashmiri green tea leaves (or some regular green tea if this cannot be sourced)
a few dried rose petals (available locally from Afghan and Middle Eastern shops, and some North Indian groceries)
3 tspn slivered almonds, crushed slightly
Allow to infuse around 2 – 4 mins, strain and sip. Sweeten with honey or sugar if needed.
browse some of our teas