I tasted Kahwa first time in on a cold winter day in March 2013. It was my first visit to Kashmir. I was invited by the Khyber Resorts in Gulamrg. There was at least 5 feet of snow in Gulmarg at that time. I was quite cold by the time I arrived at the hotel. As a welcome drink they served us Kahwa. The aroma has stayed with me even now.
Kahwa is the local Kashmiri tea. I am not good at cooking so don’t ask me for the recipe. It is a tea without milk. It has saffron and almond flakes in it. It tastes heavenly and its aroma is out of this world. At Khyber they used to make it without sugar too. As I drink a lot of tea and I do very little exercise I have given up on sugar in my tea. Kahwa tastes good even without sugar. After drinking it for a few days I promised myself that I would carry the Kahwa mix back home. But then I had a very early morning flight and in the process I forgot to buy the mix.
I went back to Kashmir (this time with Kashmir Tourism) in June 2014. Right at the airport, when we went to the Kashmir Tourism Office, they served us Kahwa. I was renewing my love affair with this delicious tea!
This time I also made sure that I brought the mix back home. I also got it as a gift for a few friends. With seasoned travelers it was an instant hit as it reminded them of their time in Kashmir. With friends who tried it for the first time, it was a novelty. Either way, I could not go wrong with Kahwa as a gift. As I am writing these words, I did my web check-in for the flight to Srinagar. Tomorrow, I am revisiting Khyber and I am so looking forward to having the authentic Kahwa again!
Mridula Dwivedi is an academic from India who is passionate about trekking and travelling. A personal favorite, read her travel stories on her blog Travel tales from India.
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Read about Stroopwafels from The Netherlands here.