Starting the day with a hot cup of tea is a daily ritual for most of us. It refreshes you, energizes you and prepares you to face the day ahead. However, it has been known since ages that teas are much more than just a wakeup call. They are a wonderful remedy for various health issues like when you are suffering from a cold or an upset stomach, or even when fighting stress or morning sickness. Kahwa tea is one such beverage which an amazing combination of delicious taste is, aroma and a bundle of health benefits. It has been known to be a part of Kashmir’s cuisine since ages. Due to the presence of saffron, it serves as a warming drink and helps to withstand the cold winters.
Kahwa is an exotic mix of Kashmiri green tea leaves, whole spices, nuts and saffron, which was traditionally prepared in a brass kettle known as samovar. The samovar has a central cavity where hot coal is placed while the surrounding space is reserved for boiling the water and other ingredients for the tea.
There are different types of Kahwa tea depending on the combinations of ingredients used, and each one has its own distinct flavor and aroma. An ideal Kashmiri Kahwa contains saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves along with one or two dried fruits such as cherries, apples, raisins, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, dried apricots or dates.
Benefits of Kahwa Tea
Kahwa tea helps to cleanse the digestive system and improves metabolism. It is also known to ease digestive problems such as constipation.
In Kashmiri households, it is served after meals since it not only aids in digestion but also helps to wash away fat, thus making it an ideal addition to a weight watcher’s diet. It also helps to prevent the deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases.
The saffron present in Kahwa tea is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which helps to recharge the body’s defense system.
Being rich in antioxidants, Kahwa tea helps to make you feel relaxed and reduces anxiety levels. It also helps to counteract the negative effects of stress-induced toxins in the body.
It serves as a perfect home remedy for cold, sore throat and chest congestion. It also helps to get rid of the phlegm that develops during cold.
The presence of antioxidants helps to moisturize the skin and reduce the occurrence of acne. The crushed almonds added to the tea also work well to cleanse the skin and bring about a natural glow.
Kahwa tea is not only a great way to kick start the day but also helps to instantly recharge you whenever you feel tired or lethargic. It is the perfect beverage to relieve headaches, cheer you up and to make you feel more active.
My favorite recipe is as below. The soothing drink with its pale golden tinge imparted by the saffron along with the mild flavor and aroma of spices instantly rejuvenates both your body and mind.
1 cup water
2 cardamoms, slightly crushed
½ inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp Kashmiri green tea leaves
A few strands saffron
1-2 tsp honey
1. Boil 1 cup of water along with cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.
2. Add Kashmiri green tea leaves and switch off the flame. Let it infuse for about 2-3 minutes.
3. In the meantime, blanch and slice 2 almonds and put in a teacup along with a few strands of saffron.
4. Strain and pour the tea into the cup. Sweeten with honey and enjoy.