Indian Kerala Tea

Kerala Sulaimani Chai – Tea Recipe

Sulaimani chai is a traditional spiced black tea from Kerala, India. It’s known for its unique flavor profile, combining the richness of black tea with spices and a tangy twist. The name “Sulaimani” is believed to be derived from the Arabic word for “sulaiman,” meaning ‘peaceful’ or ‘comforting,’ highlighting the calming properties associated with this tea.

The preparation involves brewing strong black tea with a blend of spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns. It is typically sweetened with sugar, sometimes unrefined jaggery or palm sugar is also called. A dash of lemon juice can be added, giving it a distinctive tangy taste. The balance of sweetness, spice, and citrus creates a refreshing and aromatic beverage.

I also like to add grated ginger to my sulaimani. Based on your preference, you can add the whole spices that you like & skip the ones you don’t like. Black ground tea is added to make this chai.

Sulaimani chai is not only cherished for its taste but also for its perceived digestive and soothing qualities. It’s often served after meals as a digestive aid due to the believed benefits of the spices used in its preparation. This tea is an integral part of Kerala’s tea culture and is enjoyed in homes, restaurants, and tea stalls throughout the region.

Kerala Sulaimani Chai - Tea Recipe
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Whole cinnamon- 2-inch slice
  • Whole clove- 1
  • Whole cardamoms- 2, slightly crushed
  • Whole black peppercorns- 5 peppercorns, crushed
  • Grated ginger- 1 tsp
  • Sugar- 2 tsp
  • Black ground tea- 1½ tbsp
  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add water, add the aromatic spices: whole chinnamon, whole clove, slightly crushed whole cardamoms, crushed peppercorns, and grated ginger.
  3. Let the water come to a slight boil, add the ground black tea & sugar.
  4. Instead of sugar, jaggery or palm sugar can also be added.
  5. Let the tea brew & the water come to a rolling boil.
  6. Take the pan off the heat.
  7. Strain the chai into a mug.
  8. If you prefer you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  9. Sip the hot Sulaimani & enjoy.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...