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SAHIWAL: With the advent of summer, crop up makeshift shops along roadsides offering the drink called ‘sardai’ or ‘badam ghota’. In Seraiki region, it is called thandai.

The delicious thirst-quencher is regarded as national drink in the region in the hot, dry summer.

The makeshift shops, mostly established in kiosks or under tents, attract motorists through hoisting colorful flags.

The recipe of the soft drink includes almond, black paper, fennel, celery, poppy seed, cardamom, sweetener, crushed ice and water.

Riasat Ali, of Chichawatni, has set up a ‘sardai shop’ at Chichawatni Bypass. He says the drink remains in high demand from April to September.

He says most of his customers are the lower middle and lower class people traveling in non-air-conditioned buses and wagons.

This is how he prepares the drink: he grinds the almonds, poppy seeds, cardamom fennel and celery in an earthen bowl turning it into a fine paste. Later, he adds water and crushed ice to the paste and blend well. At the last stage, he strains the drink through a fine sieve or muslin and serves in glasses to customers.

How much is a glass?

“It depends on the customer,” says Riasat with a smile in his eyes.

“For someone traveling in a public transport, it’s Rs20. If the customer is a car passenger, Rs35 per glass wouldn’t be too much for him,”