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Sulaimani Chai (Tea) Recipe

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Sulaimani chai tea of South India

Sulaimani chai tea of South India

What Is Sulaimani Tea?

Sulaimani tea is a spiced black tea that has its origin in Arabia. It is traditionally prepared without milk.

The word sulaimani originates from the Arabic sulaiman, meaning a man of peace. Prophet Mohammed was fond of a beverage called ghava, which was prepared with water, dates and black pepper. Arab traders introduced this drink to the Malabar Coast of India. Over time, the flavours of this drink changed, tea was added to it and the drink came to be called sulaimani tea, keeping intact its historical connection.

Today, it is also known as Malabar tea and Arabic tea. It is brewed with tea leaves and a few basic spices but no milk is added. A dash of lemon is added to it when it is ready.

This tea is usually consumed after a hearty meal like biryani, as it aids in digestion. It is also a traditional component of marriage menus in the Mappilah Muslim community of Kerala.

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Interestingly, the original Arabic ghava, favored by the Prophet Mohammed, is still prepared and served in Barkas, an area in Hyderabad’s old city known for its strong connections to Arab countries.

Try this tea and share your experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

10 min

15 min

1 serving


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 hari elaichi (green cardamom)
  • 2 lavang (cloves)
  • 1-inch piece dalchini (cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp palm jaggery syrup (or jaggery, honey or sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp tea leaves
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Heat the water until it comes to a boil. Add the cloves, cardamom seeds, grated ginger, cinnamon and palm jaggery syrup (or any sweetener of your choice). Reduce the heat to low and let the water simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tea leaves and simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice and stir a few times.
  4. Strain the tea and serve.

Sulaimani Chai (Tea) Recipe

© 2021 Rajan Singh Jolly

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