Historically, it is said that Prophet Mohammed drank this tea with black pepper and dates added to it…… Later Arabs made slight changes like adding sugar to the tea, called it Sulaimani, and continued the tradition of drinking it.

While in other parts of Kerala – one can get Kattan Chaya (black tea) without any additions, in Northern Kerala – Sulaimani tea is popular…… Specially after a heavy meal like Biriyani…… This tea is believed to help in digestion……

INGREDIENTS : 1/2 – 1 tsp tea leaves (depending on the strength of the tea leaves used), 2 cups water, 3-4 tsp sugar (or according to taste), fresh lemon juice – according the taste.

DIRECTIONS : Boil water in a pan….. Add tea leaves, cover and immediately turn off the flame….. Brew for 3-5 mins according to taste….. Strain the tea into cups….. Serve hot with sugar & lemon juice.

NOTE : For variations, one can use various spices like cardamom/ cinnamon/ mint/grated ginger either alone or in various combinations……. But must use the spices in very little quantities so that the flavour of the tea is not overpowered…… Also instead of sugar, jaggery/honey can be used.




This is medicated herbal water which, in Kerala, is preferred instead of water with Biriyani or any rich food……. Dahasamani promotes easy digestion, is a natural thirst reliever, is excellent for cooling the body & purifies blood…….. It is usually available in local markets……. It is prepared by mixing dry ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, cardamom, sandalwood, puncture vine, vetiver, mimosa catechu, sapanwood.


This mixture of herbs is added to drinking water……. Boil 5 litres of water in a pan…… Add 1 tsp of Dahasamani….. Boil away….. The herbs bestows a beautiful deep pink colour to the water…….. Remove from heat……. Strain……. This can be drunk throughout the day.

If the mixture contains sapanwood (pathimukham) more, then the resultant drink is attractive pink…..


And if the mixture contains mimosas catechu (karingali) more, then the resultant drink is brownish colour…..

COURTESY : Mini Mahesh

NOTE : The said importance of the ingredients …….

Dry ginger (Chukku – in Malyalam) : Lowers cholesterol….. Helps to relieve diarrhoea, stomachache, flatulence, indigestion, etc.

Coriander seeds (Malli) : Helps in improving indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea…… Controls bad cholesterol, blood sugar….. Assists digestion, etc.

Cloves (Grambu) : Heals tooth decay & bad breath …… Used for treating digestive & respiratory disorders, etc.

Cardamom (Elakka) : Aids digestion….. Cures digestive disorders, etc.

Sandalwood (Candanam) : Being a coolant, it is very useful in gastritis…… Relieves burning sensation in hands & feet……. Used as an antiseptic, etc.

Puncture vine (Njerinjil) : Used as diuretic, aphrodisiac…… Aids in relieving nerve disorders…. Soothes nerves….. Purifies blood….. Provides relief from acidity, constipation, etc.

Vetiver (Ramacham) : Used for making medicated drinking water which aids digestion….. Purifies blood….. Relieves excessive sweating……. Removes bad body odour …… Helps relieve stress, etc.

Mimosa catechu (Karingali) : Used for treatment of sore throat, diarrhoea, etc.

Sapanwood (Pathimukham) : Helps in quenching thirst….. Is antioxidant, antibacterial, diuretic….. Purifies blood….. Cures respiratory ailments, jaundice,etc.



Since monsoons are round the corner, I thought I might as well write about one of Kerala’s home remedies……. Kerala is the only State of India where Ayurveda is predominant & not alternative system of medication….. Chukku or dry ginger, in all Ayurvedic medicines, is a common ingredient due to it’s carminative & digestive properties……. The main source of all diseases, as per Ayurveda, is indigestion…… Chukku Kappi is a concoction of coffee with pungent spices, aromatic herbs & jaggery……. It is a strong sweet & spicy brew which helps to reduce nasal congestions, throat infections, mild fevers, indigestion, etc……. One can find similarity of this brew with Kava, Arabic Coffee drunk throughout the Middle East, which is brew of coffee + spices ( particularly cardamom).


INGREDIENTS : 1 tsp Coffee powder, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper corns(crushed), 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp coriander powder, 3-4 fenugreek seeds(optional), 2 cardamom(crushed), 2 cloves(crushed), 1/4″ cinnamon(crushed), 5-8Tulsi (basil) leaves, 2-3 guava leaves(optional), 1 tbsp palm jaggery, 2 cups water.

DIRECTIONS : Break dry ginger into tiny pieces…… Grind it to get fine powder….. Can be stored in airtight containers for quite some time……. Heat water in a pan…… Add palm jaggery (if palm jaggery is not available, one can use normal jaggery, i.e., sugarcane jaggery)……… When jaggery melts add in the spices….. Boil……. Add coffee powder & boil for a minute….. Now add tulsi & guava leaves…… Cover the pan with lid & turn off the flame…… Strain the coffee after 5 minutes……. Serve hot.

NOTE : The said importance  of each ingredients…….

Coffee : Potentially protects against liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Ginger : Is anti bacterial & an analgesic…… Serves as a detoxifying agent, aids digestion, helps alleviate cough & cold/fever/nasal congestions/sore throat, etc.

Black Pepper : The health benefits include relief from common cold, coughs, respiratory disorders, anaemia, indigestion, etc.

Cumin : Aids digestion, improves immunity, provides relief from insomnia/Asthma/ anaemia/skin disorders/ common colds/ cancer, etc.

Coriander : Helps in the treatment of high cholesterol levels, skin inflammations, indigestion, anaemia, mouth ulcers, etc.

Fenugreek : Provides relief from fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, anaemia, insomnia, dandruff, stomach & respiratory disorders, etc.

Cardamom : Combats acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, etc.

Cloves : Have antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti -mutagenic, local anaesthetic & carminative properties…… Thus it aids in digestion, fights against oral diseases/ headaches/cancer, boosts immune system, controls diabetes, protects liver, preserves bone quality, etc.

Cinnamon : Has anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to relieve pain & stiffness of muscles/joints due to arthritis….. It enhances antioxidant defences, etc.

Tulsi : Has very powerful anti-bacterial, fungicidal, germicidal & antibiotic properties…… Thus it provides great relief for regular fever, bacterial & viral infections, cold, cough, etc.

Guava leaves : These are full of antioxidants, anti-bacterials, anti-inflammatory agents & tannins which have noteworthy health benefits – from treatment of stomach ailments to chronic diseases like cancer.

Palm Jaggery : Cleanses body, provides a lot of vitamins & minerals,acts as a digestive agent, boosts immunity, helps treat cold & cough, etc…… Being highly rich in calcium it is very good for bones.