Spicy Ceylon Tea


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

Even though William’s tea is only a simple blend of powdered milk and strong black tea, it is very popular among the stallholders and coolies. I was inspired by his tea to create this recipe, using spices that are sold at the markets and grown locally in Sri Lanka.


  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 cm ( inch) piece ginger, roughly sliced
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) full-cream milk
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery powder*
  • 1 tablespoon Dilmah Pure Ceylon tea leaves (or any other full-bodied black tea)


Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and ginger into a coarse paste.

Put the pounded spices and the milk into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir in the jaggery and bring to the boil. When the milk reaches boiling point, immediately remove from the heat and gently stir in the tea leaves. Cover and infuse for 5 minutes.

Pour the tea through a small sieve into a jug. To create a froth, pour the tea into four small glasses from a height (about 30 cm/12 inches). Serve with kokis.