Ramazan mubarak! Finally, the month we wait for the whole year is upon us, and attached with this month are so many special things. Having Iftar with family and friends is such a fulfilling and joyous occasion and such a special time needs something out of the ordinary.

So to brighten up your Iftar table and quench your thirst, here is a luscious milky drink that beats any popular juice or carbonated drink hands down. Here is the recipe of ‘sheer paira sharbat’, a name I have coined for it, just like this recipe that I invented after some experimentation.

I know there are similar drinks, such as almond milk that has been an Iftar favourite in many families just like mine. I wanted to experiment with my personal favourite ingredients and give a twist to it, you can choose what’s your favourite flavour and add those ingredients.

I used the pan paira, you can use any barfi or paira, which had just a touch of dry fruit pieces, a red sherbet, a red jelly and basil seeds (tukh malanga). Almond or pistachio pieces or paste can be added for a richer flavour, but I felt it would have been a bit overpowering, so I didn’t. This drink can be made a few hours in advance, and even stays fine for a day, but being milk-based, I would not advice it for overnight consumption.

Ingredients

• 1 litre milk

• 1 packet jelly

• 250g pan paira or barfi

• 1/2 cup or to taste red sherbet

• 2 tablespoons tukh malanga or basil seeds

Method

Soak the basil seeds in a cup of water, for at least 15 minutes. Make the jelly according to the instructions on the packet. Let the jelly set well, in about half an hour. Jelly chunks give a nice look and texture to the drink, but since mine didn’t set so well, it almost dissolved. But that only added to the flavour.

Crush the paira into pieces, put in a mixing jar or the jug you will make the drink in. Mix with an electric hand blender, like I used, or blend in a blender. You can also use a hand beater/mixer, just do it well for the paira to combine fully with the milk.

Add this in the remaining milk, then add tukh malanga, red sherbet and jelly pieces. Stir gently and refrigerate. Just stir it well before pouring into the glasses to serve.

This measurement is for five large servings.

The writer Instagrams @the_experimentalcook

Published in Dawn, Young World, March 25th, 2023

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