How to make Afghan tea kahwah

Kahwah (Urdu: قہوہ, also qehwa, kehwa or kahwa) is a traditional green tea preparation in Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, some regions of Central Asia and in the Kashmir Valley.

In Pakistan, it is made in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan regions. It is a popular breakfast drink among Kashmiris, usually accompanied with special Kashmiri baked items like girda. Kashmiri Pandit migrants living in the north Indian plains, especially in the urban agglomeration of Delhi, have also contributed to tea popularity among non-Kashmiris. The Arabic word qahwah (قهوة) may have been the root for kahwah or kehwa. However, while qahwah is used for coffee beans. ... Kashmiris believe that the aromatic, traditional drink Kehwa goes back to the past and has been part of local consumption for years. Certain sources also trace the drink's origins to the Yarkand Valley in the Xinjiang area (that with Kashmir was part of the Kushan Empire during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD). It is likely that the use of kehwa and its spread from one region to another became easier and popular during the Kushan rule.

The tea is made by boiling green tea leaves with saffron strands, cinnamon bark, cardamom pods, and the occasional cashmere rose to add great flavor. Generally it is served with sugar or honey and crushed nuts, mostly almonds or walnuts. Some varieties are only made as an herbal infusion, without the green tea leaves. Traditionally, kahwah is prepared in a brass kettle known as a samovar. A samovar consists of a “fire container” that functions as a central cavity in which living coals are placed, which keep the tea constantly hot.

There is a space around the fire pit for boiling water and the tea lights and other ingredients are mixed with the water. Kahwah can also be made in normal pans, as modern urban life cannot always allow the use of elaborate samovars. Kahwah is usually served to guests or as part of a celebration evening, and saffron (kong) is added to the kahwah for special visitors. It is often served in tiny, shallow cups. Kehwa in Kashmir is also served after wazwan and elaborate family meals. Sometimes milk is added to the kahwah, but it is generally given to the elderly or the sick. Kahwah is usually served after dinner (usually lunch) in the north Malabar region of India.