Sulaimaani ~ Malabar Style Black Tea

I am surprised I haven’t been writing much about the climate these days. Those who follow me on Instagram would definitely keep seeing the updates. The weather is amazing these days, with the skies having beautiful paintings of the clouds. Mornings are absolutely chilly, I really pity Azza who still is a big sport, going in the dark to catch the school bus, at 6:15 am. At times, she shows me the moon that would very much be visible at that time. I am surprised why she never asked me why she is going to school at night! Evenings, though chilly are quite nice to walk around. But then the bouts of flu, cough and cold circulating is good enough reason to settle ourselves at home. The kids have been having their share of it over the past week, which is not very encouraging considering how tired it makes them feel!


When you talk about cold, there is an epic hot tea we make during this time. Without milk, and sometimes without sugar, little tea lightly brewed in water till the desired color is reached. Sometimes, we flavor it with a pinch of cardamom for an extra punch. We, Malabaris, so lovingly call it Sulaimaani! I have no clue about its history, nor am I interested in knowing about it, but in our home, the men always prefer sulaimaani over milky chai. Maybe it feels more “man-ish” to drink it! Hehe… Anytime D’s friends would come over, they would only need a sulaimaani but definitely, without making it too strong! This reminds me that during school days, I made sulaimaani for a bunch of D’s friends and ended up making it too strong. I did not want to add extra water and spoil it, so served it as it is. In comes a comment, “Ethentha mole, Sulaimaani ellaam koodi Abdurahmaani aayi poyallo!!!” (What happened, daughter, the Sulaimaain has become an Abdurahmaani!) Since then, it has been testing times for me while making this drink. No rocket science there, but getting the correct strength is the matter. And I found out that it comes if you add the tea leaves into the water as it starts to boil, so that you get control over the strength. Just off to the way I make this simple chai…Β Enjoy the “mohabbath” in the sulaimaani! Reminds you of the movie “Ustaad Hotel”, right! πŸ˜‰


In the background, you can see the Sheer Payra, which was such an awesome combination with sulaimani! If you love other variations of black tea, here are some: with mint, with limeΒ and Ustad Hotel style!



Sulaimaani ~ Malabar Style Black Tea

Course Drink
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 2
Author Rafeeda


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp tea leaves
  • 1 cardamom crushed (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • Heat water in a saucepan along with the cardamom.
  • As it starts to boil, ie. froth starts from the side, add the tea leaves. Allow it to come to a rolling boil.
  • Reduce the flame to the lowest and allow it to brew till it reaches desired strength. A warning though - do not boil for too long, it will become too strong to drink.
  • Switch off, add the sugar and mix. Sieve and serve hot!

Join the Conversation

  1. Haha… son asks me "why in this world r the kids sent to school at night"???? you r so lucky mom you don't need to go to school. ….I like my sulaimaani with a dash of honey and ginger !!!!

    1. They don't realise that we have completed that phase! Hehe… ur style sounds really delicious, must try it! Thanks a lot Nusrath…

  2. Always such a pleasure reading your post. Such lovely stories. Sulaimaani is new to me, sounds very delicious.

    1. Thank you so much Jyothi…

  3. wow! I love (addicted) tea.. I can smell the aroma of it

    1. Thank you so much Veena…

  4. I love to have a cup of hot sulaimani now….. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Remya… πŸ™‚

  5. I used to always think sulaimani is a very complicated tea drink πŸ™‚ I have tasted the real sulaimani once at some Arab festival in Dubai and that tasted so strong and yet very refreshing. This is such a simple recipe, infact I drink sulaimani every day then πŸ˜‰

    1. The Arabic sulaimaani has a totally different flavor… more coffeeish than with tea! Just that black tea or kattan chaaya is called sulaimaani in our side… πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot Manju…

  6. Love the way u explained sulaimaani.During winter months its so good to drink these so can feel the warmth inside.

    1. Thank you so much Sathya…

  7. My h is a big fan of sulaimaani..and his evening tea is always a sulaimaani,Sometimes I do enjoy the light tea πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Julie… πŸ™‚

  8. Im ready to finish liters of black tea..:) even it is rainy col or hot atmosphere…Love it never thought of posting it πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Remya… πŸ™‚

  9. aah… i can just feel the aroma of it.. yum…

    1. Thanks a lot Smitha…

  10. wow i shd try tis looks refreshing drink

    1. Thanks a lot Kalpana…

  11. Must have tasted good!

    1. Thanks a lot Beulah…

  12. Such a nice post! The tea looks refreshing (though am not a tea lover), loved the cup and all the mohabbat that has gone into it :))

    1. Thank you so much Gauri… πŸ™‚

  13. I am a big fan of tea without milk…so this will be my cup of tea πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Amrita… πŸ™‚

  14. Lovely tea and you have explained it in detail.

    1. Thanks a lot Vidya…

    1. Thanks a lot Ree…

    1. Thanks a lot Suja…

  15. Whenever I hear Sulaimaani, it reminds me Usthad Hotel movie. Though I dont prefer black tea, tbis certainly looks refreshing.

    1. Thank you so much Sona…

  16. Sulaimaani is sure man-ish but after a heavy biriyani it is the best drink to wash everything down. .

    1. Thank you so much Meena…

  17. Simple yet a wonderful drink, love it…

    1. Thank you so much dear…

  18. I have tasted a really strong cup of sulaimaani. One certainly needs courage to drink it. But it was good to have it after a heavy meal.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Mayuri… We drink it all ways, sometimes strong, sometimes light… πŸ™‚

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