You've hadchai,the milk and spice-laden Indian standard now ubiquitous throughout the States.But have you heard of its popular variant,Kashmiri chai?Also known as noon chai or gulabi chai (translating to saltteaand pink tea,respectively),this rosy-hued variety is the luxurious,special-occasion drink of choice for Pakistanis.
The History of Kashmiri Chai
Kashmiri tea comes from a very particular variety of leaf,found almost exclusively in Kashmir and its surrounding area. Fatima Ali,最受欢迎的厨师Brooklyn餐车VanPakistan将其描述为“没有红茶那么苦涩和多花。”在英国殖民期间，随着印度引入英国茶，茶在印度越来越流行，the Kashmiri population developed its own version,made with the local leaves.
当1947年发生分裂时，and Pakistan and India became separate countries,克什米尔仍然是两国间争议激烈的地区。然而，as the territorial debate wore on,many Kashmiris ended up settling in Pakistan,as many of them were Muslim,and Pakistan is a majority-Muslim nation.They brought their Kashmiri Chai with them,and soon it became one of the country's most well known drinks.
How to Make Kashmiri Chai
克什米尔茶叶与绿茶非常相似，因为它们的氧化程度很低。and many people use the latter when they can't find the former.因为克什米尔茶叶品种只在克什米尔发现，it's usually more expensive than other varieties.
制作克什米尔柴需要耐心。The process starts with heating up water to a simmer,then adding the loose-leaf tea.Then,you take a big whisk and beat the tea water for twenty minutes,to start introducing air into the mixture.The next step involves taking a large ladle and spooning the tea up and down,in and out of the pot,as another way to aerate the tea—this happens in fifteen-minute intervals over two hours (a pretty intense arm workout!).空气的加入使茶呈现出粉红色。
After the tea has been properly aerated,equal amounts of milk are added,茶水浸泡时间再长一点，然后再加些盐，sugar,and crushed pistachios.According to Ali,the traditionalists just add salt (hence the name noon chai),whereas those with a preference for Western tea preparations will just add sugar,omitting the salt entirely.
Ali describes the taste as "a creamy,乳香柑橘就像一根插有鲜花的冰棒，“尽管这种饮料有“柴”的名字，但味道却大不相同。While chai relies on a bold mixture of spices (cinnamon,豆蔻，cloves and the like),克什米尔柴很精致。If spices are used,they're usually just small amounts of cinnamon or cardamom.Ali often uses Kashmiri chai as a base for ice cream,topping it with sea salt,crushed pistachios and candied rose petals,or as a soak for her cakes.
There's a variety of pastries that can accompany Kashmiri chai,其中最常见的一种叫做“纳安哈泰”，是一种面包曲奇，上面烤有红糖焦糖。"You get this sticky,slightly sweet caramel stuck in the back of your tooth when you bite into it,and then when you have the hot tea,那焦糖真的会在你嘴里融化，”阿里说。“这种丰富的奶油与热饮料很相配。这是一个经典的克什米尔组合。”
Chai's Place in Pakistani and Kashmiri Culture
因为克什米尔茶叶的珍贵性质，Kashmiri chai was originally just a drink for royals,and even when it trickled down into other echelons of society,它仍然主要用于婚礼，这是巴基斯坦和印度家庭最特殊的场合。But Kashmiri chai is far more mainstream in Pakistan these days;especially,Ali says,as the culture has been slowly embracing the notion of Asian-style luxury.这就是说，it's still not an everyday tea,more of a special treat "when you have guests over that you want to impress."
印度风格的柴可能正在流行，but you'll increasingly find Kashmiri tea leaves in Indian stores across the country.So who knows?Kashmiri chai ice cream could be coming to a city near you.至少，it is most definitely coming to VanPakistan.“这是一种迷人的茶，”阿里说。"One of my absolute favorite flavors to use."