Karak: the unofficial drink of the Emirates :)

I love karak... I love that my students love karak... I love that the best karak comes from the cheapest shops... (2 dhs in Abu Dhabi, sometimes cheaper in the Northern Emirates) - but the absolute TOP BEST MOST WONDERFUL karak is made by a person who loves karak!

I have had karak in 6 of the 7 Emirates and in countless homes... one term we had karak each morning delivered from Yadoti to class :) (I did have mine no sugar at least)

Karak, for those who do not know, is an Emirati twist on chai tea (hihihihi I know that chai means tea, but I mean spiced tea with milk, that was an inside joke with someone). When you go to an Emirati home you are first offered a small cup of gawa and then a larger cup of karak... there are two fancy thermoses on the go all day, everyday.

Yesterday, at the falcon training, I drank karak made by Mohamed's cousin Ahmed - a true master who took the job of making it seriously and it felt like art how he did it... so the following photos will take you through how to make it... and you don't need a carpet in the desert to experience it... just relax on the sofa and enjoy the caffeine kick.

At first I didn't understand what Ahmed was doing... then I realized he was setting up the stove to make karak!

They bring this kit... wonderfully organised... to make karak when and where needed :)

11 teabags (yellow label lipton) with the tags removed... 

Wait for the water to boil (with 2 gawa cups of sugar already in it) with the lid off (ignore Dr. Connie very politely when she says that it would boil faster with the lid on) - watching the pot boil actually is pleasurable I know!

Boil everything together and add 1 small can of evaporated milk with cardamon in it (or boil real green cardamon if you have it) until it reaches the deep colour seen above...
 Then enjoy :) At home it is usually served in small glass tea cups - and I always accept the second cup... not even sure if I should etiquette wise, but I do!


  1. Very informative and delightfully written. I feel like I was there.