Kahwa – Kashmir in a Cup

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living

 

Kahwa is traditional Green Tea of Kashmir (also had in Central Asia- Afghanistan & Pakistan), a drink that warms your soul and delights your senses, be it a cold Kashmir morning or a quiet night time post dinner tea in comfort of your home.

The tea is a mix of green tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, roses, and some additional spices at times. There can be a sweet variant of Kahwa, with the addition of sugar or honey. You may also garnish it with crushed nuts like almonds or walnuts, and some more saffron on the top can never go wrong.

 

Brewing Kahwa the Kashmiri Way

Sipping a Kahwa transports one to the chilly terrains and valleys, the aroma and sight of a golden cup feels much more than a beverage. Traditionally, made in a Samovar (a large copper kettle with an in-built fire container which houses live coals, lending a constant heat to the tea), it can also be made in ordinary kitchen vessels.

 

Saffron, or ‘Kesariya’ in Hindi, the golden orange color holds a special place in Hinduism and can be seen everywhere in Haridwar. Like an undecided code for an overcrowded gathering. I see saris, dhotis, threads, Vermillion, painted temple tops, flowers and diyas (mud lamps), Jalebis and ladoos (Indian sweets), the sky and sun, all belonging to a shade card of orange. Hindu saints have always been inspired by nature, and been given to the time of sunset and sunrise in our rituals and fire is cleansing during these rituals. I wondered maybe the color saffron is symbolic of these important elements of Hinduism. It may be symbolic to the purity and divine strength, light, and salvation, hence maybe all the sadhus adorn it. Maybe in the path of seeking the ultimate truth, the color holds some importance.

Sayali Goyal in Cocoa & Jasmine

 

 

 

 

Picture Courtesy: Tushar Shukla

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