Kashmiri Kahwa
Recipe courtesy of Nidhi Jalan for Food Network Kitchen

Kashmiri Kahwa

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 cups
Kahwa, which originates in Kashmir, is a supremely aromatic and delicate green tea flavored with spices, such as cardamom, saffron and cinnamon, and served with almonds. Traditionally, it is prepared in an ornate tea kettle called a samovar. Kashmir is known for its fragrant rose gardens, and some homes add dried rose petals to their kahwa, as I do in this recipe. This delectable tea is bound to fill up your senses and warm your soul.



  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Divide the saffron between 2 serving cups. Add 1 tablespoon boiling water to the saffron in each cup and let steep while you make the kahwa base.
  3. Coarsely smash the cardamom and cinnamon in a mortar and pestle. Add to the water in the saucepan along with the sugar and boil until the water is infused with the spices and the mixture has reduced to 2 cups, about 8 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, stir in the rose petals, if using, and cover. After 1 minute, add the green tea, cover and steep for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Because green tea is a very delicate tea, adding it to boiling water often scorches the tea leaves and results in a harsh flavor, as does over-steeping the tea. You want the delicate green tea flavor to balance out the aromatic spices and sweetness.
  5. Divide the almonds between the 2 cups. Strain the tea base into the cups with the saffron and almonds. Garnish with a couple of rose petals if using. Serve with a small spoon to eat the almonds after the tea has been consumed.

Cook’s Note

I find that a little sugar really brings out the flavor of the spices and balances the tannins from the tea. But it is optional and you can scale it back or skip it. I prefer the neutral taste of sugar to that of honey; hence, I do not recommend using honey.