Saffron has always been on my list of spices to try out "one day". As with many other herbs, spices, vegetables and other ingredients that are not an everyday or a common thing that can be found in my kitchen, it has always been put on hold again and again. Mainly because, these ingredients are not easily available and even if they are, some of them can be very costly! When Sue from Couscous & Consciouness started the event "Make It With ..... Mondays", with a different ingredient each week, saffron being the first on the list, I knew it that I must really find a way of getting some saffron, otherwise it will be just something on my list!
There are a few other spices and herbs that I have been looking for so long, as the shops and supermarkets around my area do not sell these ingredients. I finally found an Indian store that supplies most spices which they import from India. Went to the store together with my sisters (who also love baking and cooking, and we all love Indian spicy food!), and came back very happy, because I found the spices and herbs that I could not find anywhere else, saffron being one of them.
This cardamom-scented tea with saffron is taken from one of my cooking books "660 Curries" by Raghaven Iyer. According to him, this is a Kahsmiris brew which is usually served for the esteemed guests at weddings, family gatherings, and special meals, especially after a rich curry dinner. I was very curious to know the taste of the blanched ground almonds in the tea. The tea has a lovely aroma from the spices and at first, I add only about half teaspoon of the ground almonds to the cup, as I wasn't sure whether I'll like it or not. When I took a sip, I can't actually taste the almonds, and increased a little bit more until I can get the nutty taste of the almonds. This is not so bad, it is quite nice actually. As I took a sip and the next, I find that it grows on you. It is a really pleasant tea with the aroma from the spices and the nutty taste from the almonds. I wouldn't mind having this tea again. Have you tried having tea with saffron and ground almonds in it? If you have not, then give it a try.
There will be more recipes with saffron which I intend to try. This is only the first of the many that I have in mind! Thank you Sue, for the inspiration, and I am very happy indeed, that at least one of the many ingredients in my to-try-list has been crossed out!
I'm sharing this lovely tea with of course, "Make It With ..... Mondays" over at Couscous & Consciousness. Hop over to Sue's blog and find out what it is all about, and hope to see you there!
Cardamom-Scented Green Tea with Saffron
(adapted from "660 Curries" by Raghavan Iyer)
1/4 cup loose green tea leaves
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
4 to 6 green or white cardamom pods
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long)
4 teaspoons white granulated sugar
1/4 cup silvered blanched almonds, ground
- Bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tea leaves, saffron, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks. Stir once or twice.
- Allow the water to come to a boil again, uncovered, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves release their flavor and the spices perfume the tea (not to mention the air), about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar and remove the pan from the heat.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of the ground almonds into each mug. Setting a tea strainer, over each mug, strain the tea into the mugs. Serve immediately, and pass around teaspoons to let the folks stir the tea before they sip it.