This milky Moroccan chai called kandra comes from around Sidi Ifni, an isolated fishing
town in the southern Anti-Atlas mountains. The complexly flavored drink is made with
gunpowder green tea and savory oregano, lavender, and aniseed for their heady aromas.
A tear of reddish brown gum arabic gives the tea a silky viscosity. I was introduced to the
special tea by Malika Essaidi while hanging around Sidi Ifni one winter, and it remains for
me a perfect winter brew.
Heaped 3 tsp loose-leaf gunpowder green tea
Generous 1 Tbsp dried oregano or zaâtar
(see page 48)
1⁄2 tsp dried lavender
1⁄2 tsp aniseed
11⁄2 cups/360 ml milk
11⁄2 Tbsp sugar, plus more if needed
1 tear gum arabic (see page 50)
In a small flameproof teapot or saucepan, place
the tea leaves.
In a kettle or saucepan, bring B⁄c cup/120 ml
water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the
tea leaves. Swirl the teapot for 5 seconds and
pour out all the water, using a strainer if needed
to ensure that none of the tea leaves escapes.
Add the oregano, lavender, and aniseed
to the teapot and pour in the milk. Bring to a
gentle boil over medium heat, about 6 minutes,
watching that it does not boil over. Remove from
the heat and add the sugar and gum arabic. Pour
a glass of tea and return it to the pot. Repeat two
or three times to dissolve the sugar and blend
the flavors. Taste for sweetness, adding more
sugar if necessary or steeping the tea a bit longer
to make stronger.
Pour into glasses through a strainer and serve.