In India, a cup of tea portrays a symbol of courteousness, a mode for refreshment and a delicacy of millions. Sulaimani Tea is one such delectable drink which infuses a feeling of relaxation and tranquility with its special aroma and flavor. It’s a specialty of Kerala, never to be missed while visiting the picturesque state. A sip of the special tea amid the scintillating landscape of God’s Own Country is heavenly and divine.
The History and Myth behind Sulaimani Tea
“Sualiman” is a word in the Arabic language, the meaning being “man of peace”. The tea is believed to be originated from the Arabian culture. Prophet Mohammed had an ardent desire to drink a special beverage called as Ghava. He used to consume it with dates and black pepper powder. But tea leaves were not the ingredient of Ghava. The Arabs initiated the tradition of drinking Ghava and brought the culture to the Malabar coast of Kerala during their trading business activities. Slowly the recipe of the beverage underwent further modifications as per the local taste and preferences in Kerala. Tea leaves, local spices and sugar replaced all as the main ingredients of the drink and hence it earned the name of “Sulaimani Tea”.
The Recipe of Sulaimani Tea
The preparation of Sulaimani Tea is quite simple and you can easily make it at home. The water first must be boiled sufficiently. The tea leaves then must be added to the boiling water along with cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, mint leaves and black pepper. The spices require to be crushed to powder using a grinder to spread out the fragrance of the spices. Else you can but the powdered version of the spices and mix them well before adding them to the boiling water. You can add sugar if you want a sweetened version of the tea. The mixture is then further boiled and then rested after switching off the heat. After 4 to 5 minutes, serve the tea in cups. You can even add a pinch of lime juice for added taste. Honey can also be used instead of sugar, but add it at the end of the preparation and not directly into the boiling water. Enjoy the tea with some light snacks with friends and family.
The Popularity of the Tea
Sulaimani Tea is normally consumed after lunch or dinner. You will find many of the restaurants in Kerala serving the hot brewing tea after the meals for a refreshing feeling. The tea has attained such a popularity that it has earned a place in one of the famous film from Kerala, The Ustad Hotel. It has been utilized as the medium for defining a strong personal relation between grandson and grandfather.
The tea is also well known in Hyderabad and in some parts of Mumbai. In Hyderabad it is known by Ghava served along with the delicious kebabs and biriyanis. In Mumbai normally the people drink Sulaimani tea with pao and buns.
Traditionally the tea is served in small glasses garnished with saffron strands. It is a well known beverage in almost all parts of Kerala, tuning in with the daily and cultural lives of the Keralite. There is also a famous restaurant in Thrissur called Sulaimani 168, named after the delicious tea. It is said that Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, the prominent Malayalam writer, never parted with his flasks filled with Sulaimani tea. He ensured to carry the flask wherever he went, owing to his ardent craving for the beverage.
Inspired by its popularity and usage, an initiative to prevent food wastage and handle hunger and poverty with elegance called “Operation Sulaimani” was stated by the District Collector of Kozhikode along with the Association of Kerala State Hotel and Restaurants. It turned out to be a great success from the year 2015 when it was first started. The essence of the Operation is to provide coupons to the needy for free meals from a chain of eateries.
Savoring the Taste Buds with the Aromatic Tea
Inhaling the refreshing aroma before consuming the tea would bring in a soothing effect inside the human mind. Slowly as you take a sip into the glass of brewing Sulaimani tea, you would be amazed by its richness and delicacy. The slices of lemon would elevate your taste buds further leaving a feeling of pleasurable delight inside the body. The delectable drink would leave you mesmerized, alluring you into its palatable flavor.
You can also drink it along with the dates as per the old Arabic traditions for a sweetened taste experience. After a heavy meal, it would serve as a dessert as well as aid in digestion. Some saffron strands spread over the tea enhances the taste further, transforming the body into a heavenly state.
The tea is specifically appreciated during the autumns when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. A dig into the warm brewing tea would bring in an aura of calmness and ecstasy. You can relish your taste buds with the incredible taste of the Sulaimani tea.
Next time when you visit Kerala, do not miss out on the Sulaimani Tea. You are sure to enjoy its rich aroma and fragrance, a perfect entertainment to quench your love for beverages. You will also love the benefits it offers with its anti oxidant and digestive capabilities. You body and mind is sure to be rejuvenated with its remarkable power. That is the beauty and the essence of the Indian spices imparting its special flavor to India’s favourite beverage.