Embracing the Culture of Elaichi Chai in Pakistan

Growing up in Pakistan, the writer shares how elaichi chai or cardamom tea has been a part of their daily routine since childhood. Tea drinking in Pakistan has become an integral part of everyday life, and is deeply embedded in the country’s culture and social gatherings. Black tea was first introduced in Pakistan during the British colonial era and quickly became a popular beverage among locals.

Regional Varieties and Flavors

Pakistan has a diverse tea culture with each region having its own unique assortment of flavors and varieties. Elaichi chai is popular in Karachi while a thick and milky version called Doodh Pati Chai is preferred in the Punjab region. In northern Pakistan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region enjoys a green tea called ‘kahwah’ while in Kashmir, a pink Kashmiri chai is a popular concoction made with pink, milky tea, pistachios, and cardamom. The writer expresses their desire to share recipes for these teas in the future. Tea plays a pivotal role in hospitality in Pakistan and is often offered to guests as a sign of welcome.

Recipe for Elaichi Chai

Ingredients and Serving Size:

If you’re a fan of cardamom tea, you’ll want to try Elaichi Chai recipe. This recipe serves four people and requires the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 10-12 green cardamom pods
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 4 heaped tsp of your favourite loose leaf tea


Here are the steps to follow to make Elaichi Chai:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a non-stick or stainless-steel pot.
  2. Split the cardamom pods and add them to the boiling water.
  3. Add the loose leaf tea and sugar, then simmer for a minute.
  4. Add the milk and boil until the tea turns a creamy caramel color.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and use a tea strainer to catch any tea leaves and cardamom when pouring into teacups.

Serving Suggestions:

For an even better experience, we recommend pairing her Elaichi Chai with almond and pistachio biscuits. You can purchase these biscuits from many South Asian stores in London.

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