Sharbat-e-Mohabbat and other stories


With temperatures touching 48 degrees in Delhi and the heatwave refusing to depart, one feels like ditching the daily chai and coffee for something cooler. As you walk around old Delhi, where business never stops, workers work all day long and customers throng its streets, there are a number of stalls that set shop in the summers to quench the never-ending thirst, selling nimbu paani, Rooh Afza and sattu ka ghol. We look at a few iconic shops in the area:

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The sharbat made popular by Nawab Qureshi in Matia Mahal, which he called Pyaar Mohabbat Mazaa, is now being sold by a few others as well. At Amir Malik’s shop, it’s called Sharbat-e-Mohabbat. But the recipe isn’t too different. In a huge container, huge blocks of ice are added to milk, and the iconic sharbat Rooh Afza is added with small pieces of watermelon, giving it a crunch. “I started selling the sharbat about eight years ago, and the shop runs round the year,” says Malik, who opens shop at 11 am till 1 am past midnight. While Qureshi sells it for Rs 10 per glass, Malik’s version is for Rs 20. Mohammad Shaan, who runs the neighbouring Kallan Sweets, says, “So many people have started selling this sharbat in the area, but it is not something they have invented. We have been making this at home ever since we were kids.”

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