Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)

// This Kashmiri Pink Chai or Pink Tea has a rich, creamy, buttery and slightly thick texture which is thin enough to drink.



This Kashmiri Pink Chai or Pink Tea recipe has everything you want as bed tea on any morning. It almost tastes like a milky dessert .

It’s cozy, sweet, thick, creamy, flavorful and deep pink. Sounds amazingly pretty and delicious, right?

On this page, you will get a step-by-step picture and detailed video recipe on How to Make Kashmiri Pink Chai Or Noon Chai. 

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there are two cups of kashmiri pink chai or noon chai  on a saucer with a spoon

About Kashmiri Pink Chai

This Kashmiri chai has a rich, thick and creamy, buttery and slightly thick texture which is still thin enough to drink. And it comes with a magical aroma of cardamom and saffron and a nutty crunch.

You can serve it on any day you are craving for some chai, or want to try something exotic. Plus, it is pink colored tea. So can also be a special tea recipe to be used on Valentine’s day for yourself or for your valentine. 

Let me tell you a story about how I discovered Kashmiri Pink Chai.

How it started from my mother-in-law’s Kashmir visit:

My mother-in-law has been to the northern state of Kashmir a couple of decades ago. She is a tea lover so she never skips the chance to try a new tea recipe. She often talks about Kashmiri Pink Chai and Kashmiri Kahwa which she had during her trip to Kashmir.

She learned to make kahwa and makes it often during winter. But she never tried making Kashmiri pink chai, because she heard from a native that making this tea perfectly requires a lot of labor and the process is time taking. Seemingly it looked like a tough task, so she never tried that tea at home.

there is a cup of hot  kashmiri pink chai topped with almond flakes

My first encounter with Kashmiri Pink Chai:

I have never been to Kashmir, but I have had this tea during my last visit to India. During our last visit, we went to a traditional cultural fair in our city. There we found a kiosk of this Kashmiri pink chai. Curiously I enquired from my Mom-in-law whether it’s the same Kashmiri tea she talks about.

She said: “I think so. It looks and smells quite familiar to me. Let’s try this first, then I can tell you for sure.”

Then we had this steaming cup of pink tea, and soon enough I fell in love with its taste and texture. It was very different from the Indian milk tea which we are used to drinking everyday. Everyone in my family liked it.

How We Bought a Kashmiri Pink Tea Packet And We Got Our Hands On It?

Luckily, the Kashmiri man who was selling tea was also selling these authentic Kashmiri chai packets. He said that this tea is similar to green tea, but if you use any other regular green tea, then it wouldn’t give you the same authentic taste. He said we also call this ‘Noon Chai’ or ‘Nun Chai’.

there are two cups of kashmiri pink chai on a table with a statue in the background

Trial And Error:

When we asked him about the recipe, he roughly told us how it is prepared. He also said that we should certainly try this at home. It takes time, but it’s worth all the effort. So we bought a packet of this Kashmiri tea.

We tried it according to the seller’s instructions, but something did not come out right.

The Internet search for rescue, but …

Then I took the advantage of google search and looked for some real authentic pink chai recipes. All of them varied quite a lot, so it was hard to tell which one is authentic. Some people used so many whole spices, others used only cardamom. Some used saffron, others didn’t. Some used salt only, some people added only sugar. Some add salt and sugar both. It was very confusing.

But few things common to most of the pink tea recipes were:

  1. Shaking tea vigorously all the time.

  2. Adding cold water

  3. Adding baking soda

  4. Boil on medium-low heat for a long time.

there are two cups of kashmiri pink chai or noon chai on a saucer

Why is this Kashmiri Chai Pink?

After finding so many versions, I decided to try a few. So, after a few trials, this is what I found. The pink color you get in this tea is due to baking soda. So here is my version which I found so far to be the best one, according to me. 

If any of you know more about this authentic tea, then please let me know. I want to make sure that I am not missing out on something.

Kashmiri Pink Chai or Pink Tea texture

Do you remember the feeling when you drink strawberry hot chocolate, or Italian hot chocolate? A rich, thick and creamy chocolatey drink which tastes so good. You can expect the same kind of rich, buttery and slightly thick texture which is still thin enough to drink. 

And it comes with a magical aroma of cardamom and saffron and a nutty crunch. It would give you a long lasting warm sensation. Mmmm, pure bliss during this cold month. No wonder it originated in Kashmir where in some parts the temperature in winters even dips down to minus 30°C.

there are two cups of  kashmiri pink chai on a table with a pink bow

The secret to make Kashmiri Pink Chai

There is no artificial color added to this tea. The baking soda does the magic of giving this tea a deep red color. Just keep tossing the tea with a ladle while it gets boiled. You can see the video for reference. A steaming cup of this tea would keep you warm for a few hours.

You can pre-boil the tea without milk and keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Add milk, salt, and sugar whenever you want to drink. Give it a good boil for about 10 mins. And your lovely ‘Kashmiri Pink Chai’ is ready.

there is a cup of kashmiri pink chai or noon chai on a saucer with a spoon

Anupama’s Tips, Tricks to Make Kashmiri Pink Chai

  1. Quality Ingredients: The primary ingredient in this recipe is Kashmiri chai leaves. To craft this chai, opt for high-quality Kashmiri chai or green tea leaves. Ensure the use of fresh and aromatic ingredients, as their freshness enhances the brew’s flavor.

  2. Saffron Infusion: Achieve a rich color and distinct flavor by soaking saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk before adding them to the tea. This infusion intensifies the saffron’s hue and aroma.

  3. Baking Soda: Exercise caution when adding baking soda; an excess can affect the taste. It aids in extracting color from tea leaves, so adhere to the recommended quantity for optimal results.

  4. Cold Water Addition: Preserve the vibrant pink color by adding ice-cold water after turning off the heat. Pour it vigorously to maintain the color’s intensity.

  5. Sweetness and Saltiness: Traditional Kashmiri Pink Chai recipes vary, some using only salt, while others incorporate a sweet and salty combination. I personally prefer the latter, but if you opt for a salty tea, omit sweeteners.

  6. Adjusting Sweetness: Preferences for sweetness differ; some prefer a sweeter taste, while others enjoy a balanced sweetness with a hint of saltiness. Taste and experiment to find the perfect blend that suits your preference.

  7. Boiling Time: The longer the tea boils after adding milk, the creamier and stronger it becomes. Find the right balance to achieve your desired richness without compromising texture.

  8. Garnishing: Elevate the appearance of Kashmiri Pink Chai by garnishing with almond flakes, adding texture and richness. Crushed pistachios or other nuts of your choice are also excellent options.

  9. Serving: Kashmiri Pink Chai is delightful on its own. When served at brunch or tea time, pair it with various snacks like traditional Kashmiri treats, Banana Chai Cake, Gulab Jamun cookies, Karachi biscuit,  Jeera biscuits, and Atta biscuits.

  10. Spices: While cardamom is traditional, feel free to experiment with other spices such as cinnamon, black peppercorns, or cloves to impart your unique spicy twist to the chai recipe.

FAQ

Can I use regular black tea instead of Kashmiri chai leaves or green tea?

No, black tea cannot be used. The distinct pink color in this tea is achieved only through the combination of Kashmiri chai leaves or green tea and baking soda.

However, if you wish to experiment, you can try using black tea, but be aware that it may alter the traditional characteristics of the recipe.

What if I don’t have saffron for the saffron infusion?

Saffron adds a delightful flavor and hue to this chai recipe. If saffron is unavailable, you can still enjoy the tea without it.

Is it necessary to use baking soda, and can I adjust the quantity?

Yes, baking soda is a crucial ingredient as it helps extract color from tea leaves. However, be cautious not to use too much, as it may negatively impact the taste.

Can I make Kashmiri Pink Chai without milk or use a dairy alternative?

The authentic Kashmiri chai recipe uses full-cream milk, but if you follow a vegan diet, you can use dairy alternatives for a non-dairy version. Keep in mind that different types of milk will alter the texture and richness of the tea.

Kashmiri Pink Chai is best served hot. The warmth enhances the taste, flavor, and aroma of this traditional beverage.

Can I prepare Kashmiri Pink Chai in advance and reheat it?

While it’s recommended to consume it fresh for the best taste and aroma, you can make Kashmiri Pink Chai ahead of time. Simply store it in the refrigerator and reheat it before serving.

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Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea) (Step-by-step photo instructions)

How to Make Kashmiri Pink Chai

  1. In a pan, combine 1 cup of water, Kashmiri chai (or green tea leaves), crushed cardamom, and baking soda.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  3. Stir well with a ladle and bring it to a boil. Continue pouring vigorously with a ladle.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-2 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  5. Allow the tea mixture to steep and boil on medium-low heat until the water is reduced to half, approximately 6-7 minutes.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-3 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  7. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of ice-cold water to retain the vibrant pink color. Pour vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  8. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-4 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  9. Turn on the heat and let it boil again for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  10. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-5 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  11. Add sugar and salt (or only salt, or only sugar). Let it boil again for 5 minutes.
  12. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-6 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  13. Keep stirring and add the milk to the steeping tea mixture.
  14. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-7 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  15. Boil for about 3-4 minutes. The longer you boil, the stronger and creamier the tea will be.
  16. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-8 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  17. Strain the tea into cups and garnish with sliced almonds or crushed dry fruits.
  18. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-9 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)
  19. Serve it with your favorite snacks and enjoy it.
  20. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-10 for Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea)

Recipe Card


Kashmiri Pink Chai (Pink Tea) [Recipe]

Recipe Image
This Kashmiri Pink Chai or Pink Tea has a rich, creamy, buttery and slightly thick texture which is thin enough to drink.
★★★★★
(Rating: 4.9 from 811 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
20 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Drinks Indian 2
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
85 calories 1 Cup

INGREDIENTS

For Kashmiri Pink Chai
  • 1.5 tablespoons Kashmiri chai/tea leaves (or good-quality green tea leaves if Kashmiri chai is unavailable)
  • 1/8 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • 1 cup full-cream milk
  • 3-4 saffron strands
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or according to your taste
  • Sliced almonds or crushed , or almonds and pistachios (for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

How to Make Kashmiri Pink Chai
  1. In a pan, combine 1 cup of water, Kashmiri chai (or green tea leaves), crushed cardamom, and baking soda.
  2. Stir well with a ladle and bring it to a boil. Continue pouring vigorously with a ladle.
  3. Allow the tea mixture to steep and boil on medium-low heat until the water is reduced to half, approximately 6-7 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of ice-cold water to retain the vibrant pink color. Pour vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  5. Turn on the heat and let it boil again for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Add sugar and salt (or only salt, or only sugar). Let it boil again for 5 minutes.
  7. Keep stirring and add the milk to the steeping tea mixture.
  8. Boil for about 3-4 minutes. The longer you boil, the stronger and creamier the tea will be.
  9. Strain the tea into cups and garnish with sliced almonds or crushed dry fruits.
  10. Serve it with your favorite snacks and enjoy it.

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NOTES:

  1. Store this tea in the flask without adding milk and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add milk and boil it again whenever you want to drink this tea.
  2. Adding saffron gives it a nice flavor, so I recommend adding it.
  3. For making a lighter version of this tea you can use a a blend of water and milk.
  4. For a creamier taste, swap 1/4 cup of milk with the same amount of milk cream.
  5. If the addition of more baking soda doesn't yield a pink hue, try experimenting with different brand of green tea leaves.


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