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...

Sulaimaani ~ Malabar Style Black Tea
Serves 2


Ingredients:

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

Method:

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!

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!

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