The Popular drinks of Pakistan consist of a vast range. Tradition can be defined as the symbolic behaviors and customs that can be part of one’s identity and passed on from generation to generation. Traditions may include festivities, almsgiving, and certain types of foods, drinks, dresses, and weapons.
With the advent of new technologies and global culture, local traditions and cultures are being pushed to the margins but the world’s various cultural anthropologists, linguists, and sociologists are becoming more interested in the traditions, norms, ethnicities, values, and cultures which are being disadvantaged.
In the postmodern era, world intellectuals and critics are celebrating the diversities and heterogeneities of these marginal cultures.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been remarkably one of the most important countries in terms of its multiplicity of ethnicities, cultures, and traditions. There are different provinces that have their own unique traditions and these provinces can be further divided into cities, local groups, and tribes which in turn celebrate the multiple norms which add to the overall density.
Since drinks are part of one’s culture and traditions, Pakistan has a wide range of traditional drinks including Ganne ka Ras, Shikanjabeen, Lassi, Sattu, Dudh Soda, Roh Afza, and Falooda.
Ganne ka Ras: National Drink of Pakistan
Ganne Ka Ras [Sugar cane juice], which is obtained by pressing the sugarcane through a mill machine, is a famous roadside drink widely enjoyed by the Pakistani people. This is one of the traditional drinks of Pakistan that is majorly enjoyed during summer and is served chilled. It is also the National drink of Pakistan. It is most popular in cities like Multan, Karachi, Larkana, Sukker, Hyderabad, Dera Ismail Khan, and Charsadda.
Fresh sugarcane, a touch of lemon or orange or fruiter.
A glass of sugarcane juice contains several essential nutrients like flavonoids, sugar, calories, dietary fiber, polyphenolic, etc.
- During summer, it is mostly used to provide an instant shot of energy.
- Apart from having an exciting effect on taste buds, this juice can prove helpful in curing acne, fighting against cancer, maintaining the proper functioning of kidneys, can enhancing the digestive system.
- It can prevent bad breath and tooth decay and provide the bones with strength because of being rich in phosphorus, calcium, minerals, magnesium, and potassium.
- Sugarcane juice is also helpful in boosting immunity and accelerating the healing process.
Everything, when consumed more than the requirement, becomes harmful to the human body. So is the case with this drink.
- If consumed in a great amount it can have adverse effects on teeth, stomach, blood concentration, cholesterol, and sleep patterns.
- People, suffering from obesity or having a high level of fats, must use sugarcane juice in proportionate amounts because it can worsen the case as it is loaded with a high level of sugar.
Dudh Soda: Popular Ramadan Drink
Instead of consuming a carbonated drink, which can have effects on health, Pakistani people prefer to have traditional drinks Pakistan is a mix of soda with chilled milk prepared Dudh Soda, which appears to be healthier than a bare drink. The carbonated drinks that are used in it may vary from person to person according to preferences. Like sugarcane juice, this drink is also widely enjoyed in summer, especially for its refreshing effect. During the Holy month of Ramadan, doodh soda is served during Iftaar. It is mostly used by the people of cities like Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi, Islamabad, and many more.
Milk, sugar, drinks like sprite, pakola, 7-Up, ice, and fresh cream.
Barely carbonated drinks can have drastic effects on health but mixing them with milk and having it as dudh soda, can have the following advantages:
- Milk in this drink provides minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins which are essential for the bones and teeth.
- Also, carbonated drinks, which are a part of it, can serve to provide electrolytes that can stabilize the body temperature and ion proportion.
- It serves as an energy source for the body in summer.
- Although can be scientifically debatable, it is assumed that soda can have soothing effects on the breathing process and thus can help in coping with asthma.
- Soda contains a high level of carbon dioxide which can cause acidity in the stomach because after entering the stomach, this carbon dioxide is converted into carbolic acid.
- People suffering from osteoporosis must avoid this drink because it can cause teeth leaching and weakening of the bones.
Shikanjabeen: Popular Drink as an Energy Booster in Summer
Another drink from the famous traditional drinks of Pakistan is Shikanjabeen which is equally and extensively popular among the masses is Shikanjabeen. This drink is famous among Pakistani people irrespective of class, gender, and age. During Ramadan during summer, it is an equally celebrated drink at Iftaar.
Its basic ingredients include water, lemon, and ice but can also include cumin, sugar, salt, or mint depending upon the person’s taste and preferences.
With the dazzling rays of the sun hitting the people, this drink serve to moderate and stabilize the body and enhance immunity against the heat.
- Along with serving as a coolant, it is proven to be beneficial for digestion.
- Apart from being deliciously healthy, it is amazingly hydrating as well and serves as an energy booster in the hot days of summer.
- Shikanjabeen is a rich source of vitamin C. Human body needs a proper intake of Vitamin C because it cannot produce itself. A daily cup of it fulfills this requirement or daily need of the body.
- It also serves as an energy booster, by providing nutrients like vitamin C and gingerol (if ginger is added).
- Because lemon contains pectin fiber, after having a glass of shikanjabeen a person can feel full for a longer time period thus proving to be efficient in weight loss goals.
- Shikanjabeen enriched with detoxifying effects, serves as a natural cleanser for the stomach and digestive tract.
- Lemon in shikanjabeen has citric acid and it can cause the pH level of the stomach to decrease causing acidity, gastrointestinal diseases, and heartburn. If consumed in high proportions it can also lead to the ulcer.
- If more sugar is added than the required amount, this drink can increase the blood sugar level which leads to blood pressure and chronic illnesses.
So in order to make it healthier, the sugar in the shikanjabeen can be cut. Some people also make lemonade instead of shikanjabeen, thereby adding soda to it. This can make this drink rather unhealthy. Pure shikanjabeen with water, lemon, and ice is healthier than sweet shikanjabeen and lemonade.
Lassi: A Desi Popular Drink
Lassi, which originated from the subcontinent and specifically from Punjab and Multan, is a signifying drink of rural areas of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtun Khwa where people enjoy it heartily. It is also the counterpart of breakfast in cities like Lahore, Multan, and Quetta.
It is made by blending water, yogurt, sugar or salt, and spices.
Types of Lassi:
There can be variations in recipe and lassi can be of different types like Namkeen Lassi, Mango Lassi (more like a milkshake), sweet Lassi, spicy mint Lassi, Kaiser Pista Lassi, honey lassi, vanilla Lassi, masala lassi.
- Like shikanjabeen, Lassi also assists detoxification and enhances the digestive process.
- Lassi also has probiotics, which are living microorganisms in the gut of the human body that prove to have benefits.
- Lassi majorly boosts the immune system of the human body because it is a rich source of Vitamin D and lactic acid.
- Yogurt is rich in calcium so the consumption of lassi can strengthen the bones and teeth.
- If roasted and ground jeera and ajwain are added to lassi, it can help cope with bloating, constipation, and other stomach problems.
- Since yogurt and milk, both contain a high proportion of lactose, it can cause sickness in people who are lactose intolerant.
- Some people add fruits like mangoes or bananas, along with butter and sugar. Because of this, the sugar level of lassi increases. If this type of lassi is used frequently, it can cause obesity and gain weight.
5. Sattu: Natural Coolant
Sattu is powdered flour from various bowls of cereal and ground pulses that is richly loaded with essential nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Because it is highly enriched with nutrients. Sattu as a traditional drink of Pakistan is widely used in various parts of the Punjab province of Pakistan, including both rural and urban areas but mostly in rural areas.
Its ingredients include water, gram flour, sugar (either brown or white), and ice.
- It helps the body in digestion, regulation of temperature and blood pressure, fighting diabetics, enhancing weight loss, and serving as a natural coolant.
- It is also beneficial for the hydration and glow of the skin and follicles of hair.
- It can be used as the ingredient of different recipes as well as the primary ingredient of the drink of Sattu.
- Sattu contains essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium which help to reduce bloating and boost the body’s metabolism. Thus, it is effective in reducing weight and burning fat.
- It also helps in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. So, it helps in keeping the heart safe from any acute chronic disease.
- Being a diabetic-friendly food, the drink of it also helps to reduce the sugar level of blood. Also, it is enriched with protein and essential minerals, which makes a person able to cope with diabetes.
- Sattu also helps in fighting against hair fall. It also adds glow to the skin, thus enhancing beauty.
- Sattu drink keeps the body hydrated during extremely hot days of summer.
- Excessive use of this drink may cause joint pain.
- When consumed more than the requirement, it can cause diabetes.
6. Rooh Afza: Most Common Drink
Rooh Afza is a red-colored syrup that is used to make drinks. This syrup is a delicious combination of various herbs, natural extracts of flowers, vegetables, sugar, and fruits. With its vibrant color, when served chilled, this drink has a refreshing and cooling effect on the body. It is the most known traditional drink of Pakistan among the masses of Pakistan. Depending upon the taste of a person, the serving varies. It can be served as sherbet or can be mixed with mint and lemon. It can also be mixed in milk for the enhancement of taste.
Rooh Afza syrup, sugar, water, and ice.
Usage of Rooh Afza
- Lemon is sometimes added to the drink of Rooh Afza for the elevation of the taste and overall nutritional value of it.
- Most of the time the syrup is added to the milk rather than the sugar which helps to keep the sugar levels low.
- The syrup can also add to the taste of ice cream as many people use it this way.
- Rooh Afza drink can be consumed on an empty stomach as it has no side effects.
- It is traditionally used because it can be helpful in easing dehydration, improving hemoglobin, and preventing indigestion.
- It also helps in maintaining cardiovascular health.
- The consumption of Rooh Afza can help in easing nausea and diarrhea.
- It also helps in combating the numbness of the kidney. It is also effective against the problems like giddiness and stomach cramps.
- Because the syrup of Rooh Afza contains extracts from natural coolants like watermelon and coriander, this can also serve as a coolant in summer.
- An overdose of this drink can cause diarrhea and bloat.
- It can be harmful to diabetic people.
7. Falooda: A Street Drink
Falooda is more like a dessert which is a combination of rose syrup, noodles, milk, and sweet basil seeds. This drink has its origin in the Persian dish Faloodeh. This drink is mostly enjoyed in cities like Lahore, DG Khan, Multan, Karachi, Islamabad, Sibbi, Peshawar, and DI khan.
Milk, dry fruits, rose syrup, ice cream, Falooda Sev, nuts, basil seeds. Fruit-flavored jelly and kulfi can also be used.
- Falooda can prove to be helpful in relieving constipation and bloating.
- Falooda is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids so it can serve in the reduction of inflammation in the body. It also helps in the rejuvenation of the skin.
- Basil used in falooda can aid gut health and also help in maintaining blood cholesterol levels.
- Its over-intake may lead to abdomen discomfort, headache, and loss of appetite.
- By eating too much falooda there can be hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can cause damage to the kidneys and blood vessels.
8. Chai: Most Celebrated Drink
With the arrival of the guests, be it in summer or winter, the drink which is served hot is Chai which is the most common drink from the traditional drinks of Pakistan. It is prepared by boiling the granular tea in water along with sugar and then adding milk. Mostly served with various kinds of cookies and biscuits, chai is considered suitable for every event or gathering irrespective of weather and place and is equally enjoyed in all the provinces of Pakistan and rural and urban areas.
Types of Chai:
There are several types of tea including the following:
- Ginger tea
- Cardamom tea
- Kashmiri tea
- Tulsi Tea
- Masala tea.
- Lemongrass tea
- Jasmine tea
- Doodh Patti tea
- Recent research has shown the results that tea contains anti-inflammatory components and also prevents the risk of heart disease.
- It also helps reduce blood pressure to normal and maintain cholesterol levels.
- Green tea contains L-thiamine and a small amount of caffeine which help to elevate energy levels. Tea also helps in releasing stress and fatigue.
- It prevents the risk of neurological diseases. The diseases which are associated with the decline of cognitive abilities can be prevented by consuming healthier tea.
- It also contains antioxidants.
Despite having several health benefits, tea can also cause several side effects like,
- Causing complications in pregnancy
- Affecting sleep patterns
- Causing heartburns
- Producing dizziness due to nausea