A recipe for Shai Adeni (Adeni Tea)! This Yemeni tea from the coastal city of Aden is flavored with warming spices and sweetened condensed milk.
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I first came across Shai Adeni (Shahi Mulaban, Shahi Haleeb, Arabic Shai, Adeni Tea) at Marib Restaurant in Springfield, Virginia and absolutely loved the beautiful combination of spices and condensed milk with the black tea. It was such a wonderful addition to our meal.
The tea comes together with a short prep time and a few minutes on the stove. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a simmer with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and a little nutmeg.
Cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes, then add the black tea leaves.
Continue to simmer for another 2-4 minutes for desired strength and finally stir in the sweetened condensed milk. Cook until heated through and adjust seasonings to taste.
Strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve to catch the leaves and spices, then serve the Shai Adeni hot. This recipe is enough for about 3-4 people, but it can easily be doubled to serve more.
A Few Tips
Simmer the tea leaves to desired strength, but take care not to cook too long or they will become bitter.
I have seen this recipe made with either condensed milk or evaporated milk. I went with condensed milk since that is how it was served in the restaurant. If you use evaporated milk, add granulated sugar to taste.
The amount of spices and milk can be adjusted based on personal preference.
If you want an extra boost of spice, top the strained tea with a small pinch of cinnamon or freshly ground cardamom.
Green Cardamom (Elettaria, Elaichi) originated in India and is a highly aromatic, warm citrus-like spice similar to ginger and cinnamon.
Most of the flavor is in the seeds encased by the green pods. You can buy cardamom whole or ground, but the seeds quickly lose their flavor once the pods are cut.
I have been able to find green cardamom at larger grocery stores, World Market, and other specialty spice stores/markets featuring Middle Eastern and South Asian ingredients. It is also available on Amazon: Spicy World Whole Green Cardamom Pods.
Looking for more tea recipes?
Shai Adeni (Adeni Tea) Recipe
Adapted from Sheba Yemeni Food
Shai Adeni (Adeni Tea)
- 3 cups (710 milliliters) water
- 8 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons (6 grams) black tea leaves
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) sweetened condensed milk
- Granulated sugar if desired for sweetness
- In a medium saucepan, add the water, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tea leaves and continue to simmer for another 2-4 minutes to desired strength.
- Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, adding a little sugar for more sweetness if desired. Strain and serve hot.