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  • Writer's pictureTeam Bombay

Celebrating Holi the Festival of Color with Pink Kashmiri Chai

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

Known as the celebration of colors, spring, and love, Holi has a deep-rooted tradition in India and Hindu diasporas across the world.

This auspicious holiday is a time which signifies the coming of a new season with the main focus of Holi being when people take to the streets and outdoor spaces to throw colored powder and water on each other. This is often viewed as a symbolic act of repairing broken relationships and creating new ones or marking the victory of good over evil.

From London to Dubai, Bangkok to Brunswick, you can find an Indian restaurant just about anywhere these days. Bombay Mahal in Brunswick, Maine has been serving up North Indiaian favorites for over 30 years, having opened its doors in 1991.

Kashmiri chai is a unique form of tea from the Kashmir Valley region of India known for its variety of tea leaves. Referred to as noon (salt) or gulab (pint) tea, it is brewed from green tea, salt, baking soda & milk.

Though not as well known in the west, this unique chai recipe is famous for its distinctly pink color & creamy flavor, which makes it a perfect addition to make your Holi a bit more colorful this year while we slowly ease out of a pandemic.

Its pink color doesn’t come from an artificial addition as it’s a result of chlorophyl in tea reacting with bicarbonate of baking soda that’s added to boiling tea leaves.


  • 2 tablespoons of Kashmiri chai leaves or non bitter green tea leaves

  • 1 cup of cold water & ice

  • A pinch of salt

  • A 1/8 tablespoon of baking soda

  • 2 star anise

  • 6-8 green cardamom pods

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar or sweetener

  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

  • ½ teaspoon of crushed almonds

  • ½ teaspoon of unsalted crushed pastiches


  1. Add tea leaves & 1 cup of water to a pot

  2. Add in all spices & bring to a boil & reduce to low-medium heat

  3. Add in baking soda and stir to create a slight fizz.

  4. Let simmer for an additional 5-8 minutes with occasional stirring. When water starts to reduce add in one more cup of water

  5. Tea should start to develop a deep reddish color. If not add in an additional pinch of baking soda.

  6. Once achieved add in a cup of cold water removing ice cubes

  7. Keep stirring & and add in milk, sugar & salt

  8. Simmer for another two of minutes

  9. Strain tea & pour into mug

  10. Garish with chopped almonds and pistachios to enj

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