- Type: Tea beverage
- Place of Origin: India
- Region or State: Kashmir
- Main ingredients: Chilled water, spices, baking soda, green tea, sugar
With a variety of beverage options that comes with India cuisine, chai is one of the most loved and most common and is made in different styles in regions of India. The chilly valleys of Kashmir offer an assortment of teas and Noon Chai is one of them. Also known as Sheer Chai or Namkeen Chai or Pink Tea, Noon Chai is a traditional Kashmiri tea beverage with intoxicating aroma, beautiful color, and an addictive taste. It is made with gunpowder tea (green tea leaves rolled into small balls), aromatic spices, baking soda, salt, chilly water, and milk.
The word ‘noon’ in means ‘salt’ in several Indian languages such as Kashmiri, Bengali, Rajasthani, and Nepali. The name Sheer Chai is referred to this tea by the Kashmiri Hindus. Noon Chai is a time-consuming recipe in terms of making a tea beverage as the green tea leaves, soda, and spices such as cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, cardamom pods, and black pepper must be cooked in water to get that color, but the results are always worth the time and effort. The base (kada) for the Pink Tea can be stored for a week and when required, warm milk is added in a cup along with some Noon Chai mixture and the tea is ready in an instant. It is usually served for breakfast in Kashmir along with Kashmiri bread and butter as it keeps the body warm and provides energy. Dry fruits such as pistachio and almond slits are also added as toppings which gives this incredible tea a unique and addictive taste that is a treat to the taste buds.
Making of Noon Chai
In a pan, add 3-4 cups of chilled water along with green tea leaves and wait for it to boil. Once it starts to boil add some baking soda in it. Stir continuously until the quantity is reduced to half and then add some chilled water again along with the spices (star anise, clove, green cardamom pods, black pepper corns), a pinch of salt, some sugar, and baking soda. Cook the mixture again while stirring continuously until it reduces to half again. Add some chilled water again and cook till it reduces a little bit in quantity and a deep reddish-brown color appears.
Switch off the flame and strain the tea mixture in a pot or utensil. Pour ¼ Noon Chai mixture in a cup and add some warm milk over it. The tea will turn a beautiful pink color. Add some finely chopped dry fruits and serve hot.
One cup of Kashmiri Noon Chai or Pink Tea gives 72 calories, out of which Carbohydrates comprise 83 percent calories, proteins account for 10 percent calories, and fat contains 7 percent calories.
Kashmiri Pink Tea or Sheer Tea is good for digestion and keeps the body warm. It also helps in fighting off cold or sore throat.
Tickle your taste buds with the incredible Kashmiri Noon Chai or Pink Tea, infused with the intoxicating flavors of the spices and a mood-lifting aroma, that not only pleases the palate but the eyes with its soulful color.
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