All drenched, and desperately looking for that one summer quencher to infuse some life back into you? The lanes of Old Delhi have the elixir you have been waiting for. Yes, the drink is called Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat and with the kind of love it has garnered in recent times, there seems no name more befitting. If you happen to be in Old Delhi one of these days then you must try this purani dilli delight, made with oodles of roohafza, milk, sugar, watermelons and lots of love. The Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat thela is slowly turning into a landmark in Old Delhi!
Nawab Qureshi, more popularly known as Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat wala sets up shop opposite Jama Masjid from where he sells the refreshing drink for a mere INR 10 a glass. The drink is also known as Pyaar Mohabbat Mazza or Pyaar Ishq Mohabbat Sharbat. A native of Uttar Pradesh, Nawab Qureshi, came to Delhi a couple of years back to earn a livelihood. He sells the refreshing cooler exclusively in the summer months. Watermelon is a key ingredient, along with rose flavoured milk. Together, they lend a delightfully refreshing pink hue to the drink.
Freshly cut watermelon chunks are added to the milk, which gives it a nice crunch along with the sweetness of the flavoured milk. The milk cartons are meticulously stacked on top of each other to make sure he doesn't run out of this important ingredient during rush hour!
Anubhav Sapra, Founder of Delhi Food Walks, says, "In milk he adds Rooh-afza, chashni (sugar syrup thin enough to allow quick swirling) and finally some freshly cut watermelon cubes. He used to sit a few blocks away before but now for some years, he has been sitting adjacent to Aslam Chicken Corner, near Jama Masjid. He also sells a special apple drink, where in place of watermelons, diced apples are added. But its not as popular as its watermelon variant."
He adds, "The drink gets especially popular during Ramzan. It is a custom to break your fast, and start your Iftar in the evening with a rose flavoured drink. Qureshi gives the drink his own refreshing spin by adding watermelon cubes."
Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat is available all through the summer at Nawab Qureshi's stall in front of 1149, Matia Mahal, near Jama Masjid, Delhi. Next time you head out towards old Delhi, do stop by for refreshing does of this summer cooler.
All you need is love and some sharbat!