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… Enjoy the “mohabbath” in the sulaimaani! Reminds you of the movie “Ustaad Hotel”, right! 😉
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 lime and Ustad Hotel style!
Sulaimaani ~ Malabar Style Black Tea
- 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!