In Indian households, a general day starts with a cup of steaming hot tea. As a regularly consumed beverage, tea provides you with a rejuvenating spark to face the day ahead. However, it has been known for ages that teas are more than just a wakeup call. For centuries, tea has been known to fight health issues like a simple cold, or morning sickness, insomnia and even aid in benefits like weight loss. The Kashmiri Kahwa chai is one such amazing tea.
The Kashmiri Kahwa chai, or Kehwa, is an aromatic green tea that originated somewhere around the second century and has been a staple drink in the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, regions of Central Asia and Northern India, especially the Kashmir Valley. It is a combination of green tea leaves, saffron, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, dry fruits like almonds, walnuts or cherries and sometimes even Kashmiri roses. Traditionally, it is prepared in a brass kettle known as Samovar. However, now days Kahwa is made in regular vessels by boiling special green tea along with its ingredients. On special occasions, it is boiled with strands of saffron (known as ‘kong’ in Kashmir) called the ‘Kong Kahwa’. There are at least 36 varieties of Kahwa present all over the world and for Kashmir, Kahwa has been a staple flavour for ages.
Some variations even use just the herbal ingredients, avoiding the green tea leaves. This Kashmiri tea has a sweet taste along with a number of health benefits. Served in either a glass or clay mug, the drink can be garnished with slivers of almonds, pistachios, roses or saffron. Generally, Kashmiri Kahwa chai is served after a heavy meal.
A cup of Kahwa packs a power punch of antioxidants for the drinker.
Here are some Benefits of Kashmiri Kahwa Chai:-
- Improves Digestion & Metabolism
Kahwa is known for helping in digestion. A cup of this tea can cleanse the digestive tract and keep it working smoothly. It also paces up the metabolism of the body. The Kashmiri cuisine is a very rich and complex combination of flavours and ingredients. Therefore, the main purpose of Kahwa is to help digest the heavy food. It works especially well during winters and eases digestive problems like constipation and digestive tract inflammation. Having a cup of Kahwa, first thing in the morning helps stimulate the digestive system.
- Helps in Weight Loss
One of the major benefits of this scented chai is that it helps in burning fat. Technically, it prevents the deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The cinnamon present in the tea suppresses appetite, regulates blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol. The polyphenols found in the Kashmiri Kahwa green tea is helpful in increasing the levels of fat oxidation, as well as the speed at which your body turns food into calories. People who consume this tea daily are known to reduce approximately 1.5 kgs weight per month even if they follow a regular diet.
- Stress Relieving
The tea is rich in anti-oxidants which work directly on the liver to boost the purification of the body toxins. It helps in eliminating free radicals and impurities generated by the liver during the detoxification of the body. A cup of warm Kahwa at night can aid in reducing problems like insomnia and anxiety. It stimulates chemicals like Dopamine, Endorphins and Serotonin which relax the mind, relieve it from anxiety and bring peace and happiness.
- Builds and Defends the Immune System
Kashmiri Kahwa chai includes saffron as one of its major ingredients. Saffron is known for being rich in Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential in building the immunity of the human body. The many antioxidants present in Kahwa can help fight infections and ailments, especially during winters. It acts as a natural home remedy to coughs, colds, flu and chest congestions. The polyphenols present in green tea help reduce inflammation and fight cancer. Kahwa also works along the blood vessels of the heart, keeping them relaxed and regulating blood circulation. It may prevent the formation of clots, which are the main cause of heart attacks. It also helps in fighting signs of ageing, keeping the body healthy and fit.
- Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
Kahwa’s rich base helps in reducing skin issues like acne, dryness and redness. The essential oils from added crushed almonds and walnuts help moisturize from deep within, while maintaining the natural glow of the skin. The amino acid, Theanine, found in it helps keep the skin clear and supple, giving it a youthful look. Added rose aids in the maintenance of the pH balance of the skin. Kahwa has many anti-aging properties that keep the skin looking firm and youthful. Since, it is mostly consumed in the colder regions, its spicy flavour keeps the body warm for longer hours.
- Boosts Energy
Kashmiri Kahwa chai may not contain milk, but it works as a wonderful energy booster. The combination of various energy giving ingredients like dry fruits, antioxidants, etc. not only work as a great way to start your day, but also recharges your senses when you’re feeling lethargic. A cup of tea after a workout can ease muscular pain and relax an over exerted body. It also helps the body function more efficiently.
The best thing about consuming the Kashmiri Kahwa Chai is that it can be a very good companion for the upcoming winters, to keep you warm. Also, with the festive season around the corner, it can be something new to offer to your guests, rather than the traditional cup of tea.