26 Nov

Kashmir is the land of snow capped mountains, eternal valleys, sunny gardens and compassionate households. It is everything but frigid, the warmth you get when you are at a regular Kashmiri family gathering is an example, of a perfect Indian household. It is a beautiful state with beautiful people; their sense of well being, good health and fun is unique. This is a piece offering to a unique tradition which is almost a ritual and also a fun family gathering over a cup of Kahwa.

Kahwa is a famous afternoon drink at Kashmir, owing to the cold weather and high altitude this tea makes the perfect beverage for all. This is a green tea with almond flakes, cinnamon, cardamom, safflower and saffron strands. It adds a lot of value to your daily meals as it helps your body with the essential support.

Kahwa is just not any tea, it is a tradition in Kashmir, families share a special moment over cherishing a cup of tea. Basically kahwa is a winter drink but this tea can be prepared all throughout the year because of its medicinal properties. Traditionally Kahwa was made in Samovar, a copper kettle, consists of a “fire-container” running as a central cavity, in which live coals are placed keeping the tea perpetually hot. Around the fire-container there is a space for water to boil and the tea leaves and other ingredients are mixed with the water, which is not brewed for more than 30 seconds.

However modern day methods are very different where you can use a tea pot or tea infuser to steep the tea leaves and consume as you may please. The benefits of this tea is very sensational, it has medicinal properties, can soothe a respiratory problem, cough, cold, or a digestive issue. It is usually served after meals in any Kashmiri household as it aids in digestion and burns the fat. It reduces the risk of heart disease by keeping the deposition of cholesterol in check. Also, saffron used in kahwa is rich in vitamin B12 and aids in immunity building and keeping the body’s defence mechanism in check. Since it is rich in anti oxidants, it is a great stress buster and it also helps to improve metabolism. It is a great remedy for cold and cough and improves skin health.

This is not only to be consumed in winter weather, can be consumed any time of the year due to the diverse qualities it possesses. Consuming this tea is more than a ritual, it is an emotion of family values, memories of the beautiful valley, happiness of the people who matter and most importantly it is warmth that reaches our soul with a sip of tea.

It’s interesting to note that many culturally rich nations have an elaborate tea culture. The British have it, and so do the Chinese. So does Morocco, Egypt, Tibet, Turkey, and many other nations. The kahwa, though not as big, is a humble tea culture from the valley of Kashmir.

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