Sudanese cinnamon tea called shai, went perfectly with the little light Sudanese peanut macaroons called ful sudani. Tea and coffee and both very popular in both Sudan's. When tea drinking does not happen in one's home, it is very common to find tea ladies called sitashai, set up on street corners. They will quite often remain in the same spot for many hours throughout the day. Customers sit around on simple metal stools bound with colorful string, and socialize.
This tea is really easy to make, it would typically be made with a simple black tea and then steeped with the cinnamon sticks. The tea could also be flavored with mint or ginger which is also very popular and authentic. Make sure to have it with sugar, one thing is certain, no matter which flavor, they like it sweet. We enjoyed the tea with the light Sudanese peanut macaroons.
Sudan was colonized by both Egypt and Britain, certainly the tea culture comes from the English. January 1st is the day that the Sudanese celebrate National Day, the day they got their Independence back in 1956. Although much has transpired since then. If you would like to learn more be sure to check out "Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan", there you will also find more authentic recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip and ful medames.
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Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbsp black tea leaves
- 2 Tbsp sugar or to taste
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with 2 cinnamon sticks
- When boiling, pour over the tea leaves or bags
- Let steep until desired flavor
- Add sugar as desired