Malabar’s favourite brew – Sulaimani tea

Malabar’s favourite brew – Sulaimani tea

You start your morning with a tea, you take a break from work you need a tea, you go meet a friend you chat over a tea, you are struck with a headache you crave for a tea, you are going to meet your fiancé you will be served tea…No matter what’s the occasion the importance of tea in life is significantly high.

For Indians, tea or ‘chai’ is much more than just a beverage but an integral part of the lifestyle. Like we can’t skip drinking water, most of the Indians cannot imagine a day without chai. For many families, selling chai earns them their bread. These small businesses are often passed onto the next generations. Nowadays even top-notch restaurants are keen on presenting new varieties of tea from all over the world. It is interesting to know that India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world, first being China. India is also one of the largest consumers of tea in the world.

The variety of teas available in the market is numerous such as flavored teas, green tea, white tea, black tea and many more. The trend of tea making differs with the prevailing culture in the region. If North India prefers the Kadak chai (ginger tea or masala tea), in South India it is Black tea. Sulaimani is a special type of black tea which has Arab origin. It is believed that, in his days Prophet Mohammed used to consume ‘Ghava’ with dates and black pepper added to it. Later Arabs inherited this tradition of drinking ghava with some changes. The original Arabic ghava is prepared in water by mixing the powder of coffee seeds, cardamom and a small amount of cinnamon. It is then boiled to prepare a decoction. Several modifications resulted in Sulaimani tea, a black tea with a dash of lemon and spices added to it. The traditional ingredients are water, cardamom, ginger, lemon juice, tea powder and jaggery/sugar.

Malabar region in North Kerala and Hyderabad are two places where you could try tasting original Sulaimani tea. Every tea shop and hotel in Malabar region serves Sulaimani which is prepared light and sweet. Sulaimani is considered to be very beneficial for digestion and is consumed after a heavy meal such as Biriyani.

The Sulaimani cart opened at The Raviz Hotel, Calicut serves authentic Sulaimani chai.