Kashmiri Nun Chai
Nun Chai was not traditionally made in our house while I was growing up so I relied on other resources to savor this wonderful salty tea. Memories include waiting for the housekeeper to wake up or knocking on the their shack behind our house to get a cupful. Earlier memories revolve around waiting for Sunday afternoons when the very old “dai” would walk 5 miles to our house and I would coax her into making me tea. Sitting outside early mornings or lazy afternoons, this tea always warmed my soul.
With no access to a Samovar, hot coals and time…the recipe below is simple, inspired by a verbal recipe rally between friends and some experiments at home. Variations and secrets are welcome.
Nun Chai leaves are green tea not black tea so try to use the authentic leaves ( borrow from friends)
Use good baking soda ( a little goes a long way). Good baking soda will not bubble up and make it bitter but will give the tea it’s pink color.
Use a egg beater to really whip up the tea
Tea for 4
6 cups of water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of nun chai leaves
a pinch of soda
2 cups of milk ( low fat if you like it thin and clear)
Boil the tea with one cup of water and baking soda until the water has reduced to one third.
Add another cup of water and boil and simmer. Use the whip to beat the tea leaves apart until you see the pink color.
Add the rest of the water and brew for 20-30 mins.
Add milk and salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
Enjoy a cup with friends.