Monday, October 6, 2014

Step-by-Step Omani Tea for 'foreigners'

This is a basic way Omanis make tea. This tea (with cardamom) is traditionally drunk in the earlier hours.

Lipton black tea bags
Evaporated Milk
Cardamom powder
Water - use bottled water or distilled. The type of water affects the flavour.

Everything above is sold at Lulu's or any major hypermarket. Cardamom is called 'heel' in Arabic, الهيل in case you need to ask. Rainbow company makes the dehydrated milk. It comes is original, cardamom or 'light' flavours. You need 'black' tea; the popular choice is from Lipton. There's no need to measure exactly but gauge by taste and experience.


On the stove method

Step 1: Boil water in a pot. Then, lower heat to just below boiling.
Step 2: Now, add sugar and tea bags. Start with 1/4 cup - you can 'sugar' to taste later on. Add two to three tea bags per litre water.
Step 3: Add one small can evaporated milk per litre water. If you use cardamom flavoured milk, then it may not be necessary to add cardamom powder.
Step 4: Reheat water to boiling point and then let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add about 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. (You can add the powder at anytime). Optional: Add fresh ginger (not powdered).
Step 6: Manipulate tea bags up and down until nice frothy caramel colour is reached.
Step 7: Serve hot.

In the thermos method

The use of thermoses or flasks is widely popular in Oman. Tea is mixed in the thermos and kept hot for many hours for drinking.

Pour the boiling water in the flask, but leave room for a can of milk and the sugar. Add the tea bags (before the milk as the milk cools the water too much). You may want to dunk them a few times to release the tea, but then leave the cords just outside the flask with the bags inside. Now, add the sugar and cardamom powder. Finally, add the milk. Stir if needed. Seal the flask with the tea bags inside with the cords hanging out. The tea will stay warm for several hours.

Instant method

A premixed product of milk tea with cardamom is sold. Add appropriate amount of water, mix, and serve.

Thermos - a must have in Oman. 

Traditional  'dallah' coffee pot.

Lipton black tea. Yellow Label found outside UK.

Colour of cardamom tea.

Dehydrated milk with cardamom

Original dehydrated milk


  1. Great! I love karak tea,is the above recipe the method to be used to make a cup o karak?

  2. hello. yes, sometimes known as chai karak. it is gaining popularity in the GCC.