Afghan pink chai

22 December 2017 by
First published: 22 January 2018

Afghan pink chai

Afghan pink chai is the superfood drink you need to try! This intriguing, traditional Afghan drink, also known as Qaimaq or Sheer chai, is often served at celebrations to toast good health. The addition of bicarbonate of soda is what magically turns the green tea-based drink pink (I add a little beet juice to further the effect). Bicarbonate is helpful for the acid/alkali balance in the body.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1tbsp loose leaf green

Tea or green tea bag

1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda

500ml raw cow’s milk or almond milk

Roughly crushed seeds from 6 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

10 cloves

1tsp beetroot juice or powdered beetroot (optional)

1–2tsp honey or coconut palm sugar, to taste (optional)


Place everything, apart from the honey or sugar, into a saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and let it steep 15 minutes. It should be a pale shade of pink (traditional recipes use far less healthy condensed milk, which makes it go much pinker). For added blush, whisk in a little beetroot juice or powdered beetroot, if you like.

Strain the spices from the drink and sweeten to taste.

Serve warm.

Taken from Tonics and Teas, by Rachel de Thample, published by Kyle Books, photography by Ali Allen.

You might also like these cinnamon and carrot energy bars or our breakfast Californian raisin crunch.

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