Sita’s Cardamom Coffee
By Ushi Patel
I have many great memories of my grandmothers. I was the first grand child, which meant I was fortunate enough to spend time with both sets of great grand parents and grand parents. My paternal grandmother, Sitaben Patel, whom I lovingly called Ba, had a specially made coffee twice a day, everyday. My grand father, Bapuji, fell sick at an early age, and Ba was the primary caretaker and ran the household. I could see that this moment of coffee was her one quiet moment for herself amidst the hustle and bustle of very long days.
She was an early riser, by 4:30 am the smell of that earthy goodness filled the house and warmed my heart – another adventurous day in what I thought was a strange land. Since I was with my parents in the US and she in Mumbai, India, I saw her about once a year in my childhood. At coffee time, I would go and site quietly with her, nestled in her perfectly pleated sari enjoying the aroma. She would always save the last sip for me. This ritual was repeated again at 5:00 pm. An entire lineage was transmitted in silence during this time.
I love this version of cardamom coffee because it reminds me of Ba, inspiring me with every sip to be a strong woman of service. There are hundreds of ways to make cardamom coffee, but I’d like to share the one that wins my heart…and taste buds.
Indian Cardamom Coffee
Adding spices to coffee spans many cultures across the Indian sub-continent, Africa and the Middle East including Israel, Turkey, Ethiopia and the island country of Bahrain. A vast number of people discovered, for example, that adding cardamom to the coffee reduced the acidic effect on the body and tasted great. Sita’s Cardamom Coffee is a blend of this tradition, with influence from the West.
1 serving (Single Cup)
Add instant coffee and sugar to your cup with 1 ½ cup hot water. The idea is to make a smooth sticky paste in your coffee cup as you mix the coffee, sugar and water.
Bring milk to a boil over medium-low heat. Add cardamom when liquid starts to froth around the edges. Allow froth the rise slightly and then remove from heat immediately.
Pour cardamom infused milk into cup, stir and serve.