Shereen’s Kashmiri Dhum Chai

Over time I’ve grown to love stronger teas and coffees. So, I adapted my Mum’s recipe of Kahwa to make it a much stronger tea, something which she loves to call Dhum Chai. This is one of the first things I loved making at a very young age. Something that has stuck with me and is my go-to whenever I need to refresh, uplift or reminisce. This brings my childhood memories and a beautiful sense of nostalgia back. The smell of this aromatic tea will take you there, trust me. It hits all the right notes and has all the right balance of flavours. Here it is!

Shereen’s Kashmiri Dhum Chai

Serves 3 


900ml or 3 & 3/4 cups fresh cold water

6 green cardamoms 

2 tsp gunpowder tea leaves

1 x 4″(inch) Chinese cinnamon stick

A pinch of saffron

Sugar to taste (for this quantity of water I would normally add 4 tsp of sugar) or you can add your choice of sweetener when serving.


  1. Pour the water into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon, saffron, tea leaves and sugar.
  1. Place on the hob on high heat and wait for it to boil. Make sure you keep your eye on the water as you want to go back to this just before it starts to boil.
  1. Whilst this is heating up, take the green cardamoms and crush them in a pestle & mortar. Don’t over do it, you don’t want a powder. You want some of the seeds to disperse so you can crush these slightly along with the green pods. The fragrance of these green cardamoms should come through stronger.
  1. Going back to the hob now. As soon as the mixture in your saucepan just starts to boil, add your crushed cardamoms. 
  1. Now let it boil for about 1 minute and then turn off the heat. If you want your tea to be stronger then leave it to simmer for a few more minutes before serving.
  1. Using a strainer, pour this into your favourite tea cup and enjoy!

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