How have you been? What season is it at your place?
For the first eight years of my life, living in a beautiful coastal town in South India, I never knew what winters felt like. Come to think of it I never owned a sweater back then. We only had two major seasons – Summer and Monsoon. The monsoons particularly were my favourite. But winters were something I yearned for. As a child, I always thought of winter as ‘White Winters’ – snow, soups, mufflers, cakes and a huge snowman with a carrot nose outside my house.
As an adult, when I moved to Bengaluru, I welcomed the winters with the same excitement as I did with the beaches back home. There was no snow or snowman of course but it was an unfamiliar season and a beautiful one no doubt. One of the first things that changed after we settled in was the amount of warm food and drinks that became a part of our winter routine. Mornings started with a cup of warm water. Something I could not think of doing in the sweltering heat of my hometown. More fibres went into the curries. Soups and salads were now a must. Icecreams were now a rare delight.
With these came experimentation. Off late, my husband and I have been experimenting with different winter drinks. Mostly water-based teas. We have tried Chamomile, Lavender, green, lemon and Vanilla teas. So far, this one is our favourite – Sulaimani Chai.
Brewed to a beautiful shade of Amber this often overlooked drink is every bit as delicious as it looks. The aroma is soothing and the sweet-sour taste is easy on your mouth.
What do you need?
Serves: 1 cup
- Tea leaves – 1 tsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Honey – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger – 1/2 inch crushed.
- Cardamom – 2
- Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
- Cloves – 2
- Tulsi and Mint (optional)
- Bring a cup of water to boil and add ingredients 4 to 7. Let it boil for a min.
- Add tea leaves/powder and boil for another minute.
- Add lemon juice and honey to your serving cup.
- Strain the boiling mixture into the serving cup and stir.
- Add mint and tulsi leaves before you serve.
You can buy these amazing glass cups here. (Click on the highlighted word)
The tea is believed to improve digestion and gut health. Good for your heart as well. The lemon and honey combination might help with your fitness goals too.
Some interesting tales about this drink
- It is believed to have Arab Origins. Prophet Mohammad’s favourite beverage called Ghava made of dates and pepper is where it began.
- The Arabs then brought it to the Southern Malabar coast of India which they often visited for trade. The cultural intermingling that followed, changed the recipe of the beverage to make it what it is today.
- In Arabic, Sulaiman translates to ‘Man of Peace’ which is what one feels after a sip of this piping hot tea on a chilly evening. 🙂
- The original Ghava is still served in Barkhas, an area in Hyderabad’s old city.
Are you a fan of water-based teas or teas in general? Which is your favourite? Tell me in the comments below.
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