Cardamom-Scented Green Tea with Saffron


Kashmiris brew this delicacy for esteemed visitors at weddings, family gatherings, and special meals, especially after a rich curry dinner. Manu Madhok served this the day he and his family invited me for a Kashmiri lunch—a perfect finale to a scrumptious meal.


  • ¼ cup loose green tea leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 to 6 green or white cardamom pods
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long)
  • 4 teaspoons white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup slivered blanched almonds, ground


  1. Bring 5 cups water to a rolling boil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tea leaves, saffron, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. Stir once or twice.
  2. Allow the water to come to a boil again, uncovered, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves release their flavor and the spices perfume the tea (not to mention the air), about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar and remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the ground almonds into each mug. Setting a tea strainer over each mug, strain the tea into the mugs. Serve immediately, and pass around teaspoons to let the folks stir the tea before they sip it.