Sulaimani chai is an aromatic sweet-sour black tea popular in the Malabar region of Kerala. The perfect Sulaimani chai – the name is of Arabic origin – is brewed to a pure golden colour and served with sugar, a squeeze of lemon, but never any milk. People drink it after a filling dinner. Typically, there are no spices in Sulaimani chai, but we have given it our own twist.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey (optional)
  • ½ tsp tea leaves
  • 5 cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 strips mint leaves
  • 1 1-inch stick cinnamon


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a pan.
  2. Add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, and let the water boil for another 5 minutes.
  3. Toss in the tea leaves and remove from fire to allow the tea to infuse.
  4. Strain the spices and tea leaves.
  5. Mix sugar or honey, if desired.
  6. Aerate the tea by pouring from one glass to another twice or thrice.
  7. Add mint leaves and serve.
Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew, co-owner and culinary director of Kappa Chakka Kandhari in Chennai and Bengaluru, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for September. His culinary career, which began with the Taj Group of Hotels, has taken him to several countries, where he has learnt many cuisines. After 25 years in the F&B industry, he decided to closely explore the cuisine of his home state, Kerala. For three years, he travelled through the state, researching its food, and working with 265 housewives and 70 toddy shops, some of whom are now part of the restaurant’s kitchen. He has won several accolades in his career, including being adjudged the Chef of the Year at the Times Food Awards, Chennai, in 2018.

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