Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Kashmiri Kahwa, Kashmiri Tea - Health Benefits and Recipe

Kashmiri Kahwa, a classic drink from the Himalayan valley, is a soul-warming drink that resonates with the power of Indian spices.

Kahwa is an exotic mix of Kashmiri green tea leaves, whole spices, nuts and saffron, which was traditionally prepared in a brass kettle known as samovar. The samovar has a central cavity where hot coal is placed while the surrounding space is reserved for boiling the water and other ingredients for the tea.

Indeed, this is one exciting cuppa that you will lo ave to smell, sip and bite too! You will find that the Kashmiri Kahwa will instantly perk you up with its amazing aroma and flavors.

Kahwa tea is known for its numerous health benefits. Some of them are listed below:

1. Improves Digestion
Kahwa tea helps to cleanse the digestive system and improves metabolism. It is also known to ease digestive problems such as constipation.

2. Burns Fat
In Kashmiri households, it is served after meals since it not only aids in digestion but also helps to wash away fat, thus making it an ideal addition to a weight watcher’s diet. It also helps to prevent the deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels and thus reduces the risk of heart diseases.

3. Builds Immunity
The saffron present in Kahwa tea is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which helps to recharge the body’s defense system.

4. Stress Buster
Being rich in antioxidants, kahwa tea helps to make you feel relaxed and reduces anxiety levels. It also helps to counteract against the negative effects of stress induced toxins in the body.

5. Remedy for Cold
It serves as a perfect home remedy for cold, sore throat and chest congestion. It also helps to get rid of the phlegm that develops during cold.

6. Improves Skin Health
The presence of antioxidants helps to moisturise the skin and reduce the occurrence of acne. The crushed almonds added to the tea also work well to cleanse the skin and bring about a natural glow.

7. Energy Booster
Kahwa tea is not only a great way to kick start the day but also helps to instantly recharge you whenever you feel tired or lethargic. It is the perfect beverage to relieve headaches, cheer you up and to make you feel more active.

How to Make Kahwa Tea

1 cup water
2 cardamoms, slightly crushed
½ inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 tsp Kashmiri green tea leaves
A few strands saffron
1-2 tsp honey

1. Boil 1 cup of water along with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
2. Add Kashmiri green tea leaves and switch off the flame. Let it infuse for about 2-3 minutes.
3. In the meantime, blanch and slice 2 almonds and put in a tea cup along with a few strands of saffron.
4. Strain and pour the tea into the cup. Sweeten with honey and enjoy.

Note: In case Kashmiri green tea leaves are not available, you can replace it with any other green tea.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Recipe - Rajma Chawal

Rajma or Red kidney bean is one of the most popular dishes in North India. It is not only delicious but also high in protein content that makes it a very healthy and wholesome vegetarian meal. Rajma curry is my favourite; I love to have it with either rice or roti. You can make this curry mild, spicy, or extra spicy by increasing the chilli level as per your liking. This curry is super easy to make, all you have to cook the rajma with a few basic ingredients and add a few spices. You will get a delicious curry in few minutes.
The most important thing you have to remember to do is cook the rajma well so that it is not undercooked. Normally it takes 5 to 6 whistles in the pressure cooker for rajma to be ready if it has been soaked. You have to soak the rajma for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight before preparing the curry. If you are cooking it in a regular pot, cover the rajma with water and bring it to a boil, simmer for 45 mins to 1 hour or until soft. You can add some salt to the rajma water while boiling so the rajma is not bland once in the curry gravy. Since it takes so long to cook in a normal pot, it is better to invest in a pressure cooker for fast cooking. In a pressure cooker, it takes under 15 mins to cook. Now let’s see what all we need and start cooking.

Serves: 3-4 | Cooking Level: Moderate | Cooking time: 45 mins

Rajma/ Kidney Beans - 2 cups (soaked overnight and boiled)
Oil or Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
Onion - 2 large finely chopped
Tomato - 3 large puréed
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1tsp
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves a handful finely chopped

1. Soak rajma overnight. Drain and add it to a pressure cooker with some salt and cover with water. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles or until the rajma is well cooked. Turn off the heat and let the steam escape all by itself.

2. Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add the onions. Fry them until they turn light golden brown.

3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a few more minutes.

4. Add the pureed tomatoes and mix well.

5. Once the oil starts to separate add all the dry spices and mix well.

6. Add in cooked rajma with water and mix well. Adjust the salt.

7. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes and check if the rajma is well cooked.

8. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

9. Serve along with steamed rice or hot roti’s.

I would love to chat with you in the comments section, please let me know about your experiences when you make the above recipe, Please do Like, Share & Comment. Till then Take Care and Happy Cooking!