Kashmiri chai is a winter staple for Lahori winters
It’s chilly outside, your windows are frosted, your nose is numb but when you take a gulp of this deliciously warm and nutty concoction with a hint of sweet and salty and a gulp of cream everything feels perfect. Kashmiri chai, also called pink tea, sabz chai and a plethora of other colloquial names, has that soothing effect on you. After all, it is the festive sister of the ordinary cup of desi chai.
Here are some of the best places you can grab that delicious cup of Kashmiri tea when you’re in the foodies’ paradise, also known as the city of Lahore:
Lakshmi Chowk tea stalls
Some say there are the two tea places that are opposite to each other, some say there is a place on Abbot Road, wherever is the exact location, rest assured if you’re at Lakshmi you won’t be worried about some good Kashmiri chai, or some great food either. There is the whole Orange Line thing that you’ll have to deal with, though, so travel to Lakshmi Chowk at your own risk.
Jaidi Paan Shop in DHA
Arguably the most (in)famous paan shop in Lahore, Jaidi does a nice cup of Kashmiri chai that is sweet or salty, with a sprinkling of pistachios, and served in a paper cup so you can drive around the streets as you sip on your tea.
Sarrak Kinarey on Ghazi Road, DHA
Sarrak Kinarey is a cute rooftop dhaba you might immediately fall in love with if you enjoy sitting in the outdoors on wooden benches, under fairy lights. With several chai varieties on the menu, their frothy Kashmiri chai with crushed nuts gets sold out at times. Don’t worry, that isn’t the only thing to keep you warm as the dhaba has a bonfire and plenty of options on the menu like parathas and burgers to choose from.
Chai Kada on Khurshid Kasuri Road
This place puts a spin the traditional dhabba with their upmarket decor and upmarket prices too. If you’re looking for a nice open-air tea time hangout and you don’t mind blowing a hole in your wallet, this is the place to be.
Service Lane, on Bedian Road near Askari 11
This collective of a bunch of hip restaurants and dessert shops is one of the hottest new destinations in Lahore. With the winter weather being especially conducive to outdoor-ish dining, this place has become the place to be seen at for the “youths” of Lahore. With popular spots like Jaybees being a sure shot favorite, and their offering of a selection of teas, the Kashmiri chai at this place probably won’t disappoint you either.
Karak Khel, Bankers Society, Ring Road
This chai dhaba may specialize in the famous tandoori chai, but it also does a lot more than just that. Order a cup of piping hot Kashmiri tea from the dhaba when sitting in front of the bonfire and hum to Sufi songs with family and friends.
Canal Park bazaar, behind Main Market, Gulberg
Unassuming, and absolutely desi, the Kashmiri chai at the tea stall here is for a cup inside your car or a quick grab with a bunch of friends if you’re not concerned about the location but more about the company you’re with.
The original food street has a lot of offerings not only for Kashmiri chai but also for accompanying desserts like a rich gajar ka halva, a creamy ras malai or some piping hot gulab jamuns. Go for the nostalgia, stay for the delicious variety of some of the best food.
This place is where it’s really at. Best place for a very early morning breakfast or a really late dinner. After that head on over to the milk shops at the far end of the street, opposite to the Mall Road and grab a steaming hot cup of the deliciously pink chai with a dollop of clotted cream and a sprinkling of nuts.
At the next winter wedding you’re invited to
Of course, this is the season of winter weddings. And shaadi dinners mean there is always going to be those huge steel containers with a tap at the end so you can get all the tea you want, just make sure you leave some for the thousands of other equally mufta khor guests in line behind you.
In the comfort of your own home
If everything else fails, or you’re too much of a fussy eater to be able to enjoy the ganda bahar ka chai ka cup then your trusty family recipe for Kashmiri chai will have to make do.
Share your family’s Kashmiri chai recipe with us in the comments. And if you know of any other good Kashmiri chai places do let us know and we can add them.
Cover image via: goldentiffin.co