Native to Kashmir, Nun Chai is the most popular drink on this heaven of earth after the shahi kehwa. Famous for its salty taste, the nun or noon (salt) chai is famous as the Pink Tea owning to its beautiful color. Prepared from health beneficial green tea leaves, in a unique way, the taste is distinctly salty and yummy.
For all the tea lovers out there, this is a must have tea for you. I will be sharing two versions with you. An easy one, for any time recipe, that can be made on the go! And a traditional not-so-easy one, that you can make for special occasions, or on days you wish to treat yourself.
Let’s get down to business then.Basic Noon Chai
You will need:
Nun Chai Tea leaves – 1 table spoon
Salt – 1/2 tea spoons
Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)- a pinch
Milk - 1 ½ cup
Water – 3 cups
Method:Take 3 cups of water in a pot.Add Nun Chai tea leaves to it and Let it boil for like 30 minutes.Add to it a pinch of sodium bicarb (phul, locally).Bring to a boil again, till the color changes to wine.Add the milk now.Add salt.Bring to boil once more.Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
And your tea is ready to drink! You can add butter or cream to it, to make it tastier. Enjoy with kulcha or namkeen biscuits :)
Generally, in Kashmiri households, nun chai is consumed everyday as part of the breakfast. So, people here make the tea stock (chai tyoth, locally) beforehand that lasts for a week to ten days. This stock is to be refrigerated in summers so as not to lose out on its taste. In winters, owing to the cold temperatures here, it need not be stored in the fridge.
Now making this chai tyoth is a little cumbersome process. And you might not just get it right in the first attempt. However practice makes a man perfect! And with a little practice in this case, it will eventually save you a lot of time if you intend to consume it on a daily basis.
Making the Tyothnun chai tyoth
You will need:
Nun chai tea leaves – 2 heaped table spoons
Water – 2 jugs
Sodium Bicarbonate- 1/4th tea spoon
Preparation:Take water in a cooking pot.Add nun chai leaves to it.Add phul, sodium bicarb.Bring the water to three boils.Simmer for 30 more minutes.Bring to boil again and simmer till the mixture is reduced to two thirds of the original mixture and has a deep wine or burgundy color.Take off the flame.
Let it cool down for some time and then strain the leaves off it.Your nun chai tyoth is ready. You can now store this stock for 10 days.
Making Nun Chai with the stock:
For basic version, any time you wish to have a cup of steaming nun chai, take half a cup of tyoth in a pan; add half cup milk to it and a pinch of salt to taste. Bring to boil and ta da! Your nun chai is ready!
Traditional Nun Chai or Sheer Chai (Making 2 cups)nun chai with cream and nuts
You will need:
Chai Tyoth – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Almonds – 5 to 6 sliced
Walnuts – 2 to 3 crushed
Cream – 2 tea spoons
Salt – ½ tea spoon
MethodTake the chai tyoth in a pan.Add milk to it.Add salt.Bring to a boil.Your noon chai is ready.
In your cups, add crushed walnuts and sliced almonds. Add 1 tea spoon cream to each cup. Now pour the hot nun chai over this and sit back and enjoy :)
In case you wish to know a little story about nun chai, you can read here..