This easy, one-pot Kashmiri Chai recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make! This is not a traditional Noon Chai recipe, but an accessible version that's still delicious (and pink)! Make it with regular green tea leaves if you can't find Kashmiri tea leaves.
2tbspKashmiri chai leavesor sub any non-bitter green tea leaves
2star anise (badiyan)
6-8green cardamom pods
2whole cloves (loung)optional
1/8tsp heapedbaking soda
½cuphalf and half*or sub 1 part heavy whipping cream + 1 part milk
¼tspkosher salt or sea saltor to taste
2-2.5tbspsweetener of choiceI've tried cane sugar, brown sugar, and date syrup
For Serving (Optional)
½-1tbspraw almondscrushed using mortar and pestle
½tbspunsalted pistachioscrushed using mortar and pestle
Prepare ice water: Combine room temperature water with 2-3 large ice cubes and set aside.
Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add water, Kashmiri chai leaves, star anise, green cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon (if using) and bring to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, add the baking soda. It’ll fizz a little. Allow this mixture to boil over high heat for 5-6 minutes. Occasionally, use a ladle to aerate (scoop and pour back) the tea. You’ll notice the froth in the water go from pale green to a deep pink color. If not, add another 1/8 tsp of baking soda.** The water will be greatly reduced, almost evaporated.
Add the prepared ice water (discard any ice cubes). If you’d like, you can aerate several times to deepen the color. Add the milk, half & half, salt, and sweetener. Allow it to a come to a light boil, then immediately turn off the heat. Do not allow it to boil for too long as it'll start to lose some of its pink color. Taste and adjust salt and sweetener.
Strain the tea into cups and add crushed almonds and pistachios, as desired.
*If you prefer it lighter, replace the half & half with milk. Likewise, if you prefer it richer, increase the half & half and decrease the milk.**If, after adding more baking soda, it's still not turning pink, then try using different green tea leaves.