Kashmiri “Kahwah”

“Kashmir is the delicate reminder of the fact that poetry does not always need pages and words.”

Kashmir and Kahwa

If you are in Kashmir and its cold climate is making you shiver even after cladding yourself in multiple layers of clothing and looking for beverages, go grab a cup of Kashmiri kahwah. I assure you that you will get the desired warmth and a feel of royal beverage.

While its exact origin is not known to us, kahwah tea leaves are said to have come to Kashmir through the spice route. Another believe is that it was originated in Yark and valley in Xinjiang during the era of Kushan empire. In kashmiri ‘kahwah’ means ‘sweetened tea’. In Kashmir it is also referred as Mugalee chai, connecting dots to the Mughal emperors.

Kahwah has been popular as a drink throughout Kashmir, Afghanistan, central Asia, Iran, and even today it remains a popular drink of the region. It is made by boiling green leaves with local saffron with cinnamon and cardamom. It is generally served with sugar or honey and crushed nuts usually almonds or walnuts. Sometimes milk is also added, but this is generally given to elderly or the sick.

Today, this historically popular drink is usually served to guests or as a part of celebration during dinners and saffron is added for some special visitors. It is generally served in tiny and shallow cups.

 It must be a refreshing moment with Kashmiri’s heavenly flavours blended with natural green tea and saffron to create a feeling of bliss. Kahwah is rich in antioxidants that come from almonds and walnuts. Antioxidants boost your immune system and reduce stress levels in your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants may play a role in protecting you from heart disease and soothes your skin saffron and other antioxidants present in the tea help maintain optima health your skin. Vitamin B12 and C helps prevent pigmentation of the skin. Almonds being rich in vitamin E nourishes and softness the skin.

The exotic beverage is traditionally consumed during breakfast in the Kashmir valley and contains a blend of green tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. To make it richer, it is usually garnished with flaked almonds, walnuts and dried fruits like cherries and apricots.

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