A new viral food trend that is a popular summer drink in Pakistan called ‘doodh soda’


A new viral food trend that is a popular summer drink in Pakistan called ‘doodh soda’

Made with a combination of milk and any carbonated drink, UAE expats explain the appeal



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Milk with soda: Will it be the viral trend of this summer? Image Credit: Shutterstock

Milk with soda? Sounds a little strange at first, but apparently absolute bliss when sipped. Some say the drink is perfect for summer, since the combination of these two ingredients offers much-needed respite from the heat.

The drink is picking up on social media as the latest viral food trend after social media users discovered a video clip of Laverne DeFazio (played by Penny Marshall), from an episode of the popular 1970s American sitcom ‘Laverne & Shirley’, combining milk with soda in a large bucket and sipping it.

While it is what social media users are obsessing over currently, this combination is not new to the Punjab province of Pakistan where it originates, and is called doodh soda or pakola doodh which translates to carbonated milk.

Gulf News Food took a look at this food trend making headlines and spoke to Pakistani expatriates in the UAE, who explained what this drink is all about….

An unusually compelling combination

It is made usually in a metal glass with soda, like 7-up or sprite, after which we add sugar and milk to it. When mixed, it brings out a creamy texture and a sweet taste… it is also slightly fizzy.

- Asim Jamil Muhammad, 27

“The thing about doodh soda is that it has an unusual combination that is tasty when you try it out for yourself,” explained the 27-year-old Dubai-based Pakistani expatriate Asim Jamil Muhammad, in conversation with Gulf News Food. “I was very young when I first tried it in Peshawar – maybe 4 or 5 years old. It is made usually in a metal glass with soda, like 7-up or sprite, after which we add sugar and milk to it. When mixed, it brings out a creamy texture and a sweet taste… it is also slightly fizzy. There are many street vendors in Pakistan who make this drink, especially during the summer months.

“We also consider it to be very healthy and nutritious, because it quenches your thirst in an instant and boosts energy. In Pakistan, people actually consider it healthier than drinking soda alone. Plus, if you eat with spicy food, you will be refreshed without feeling too full as it is light on the stomach.

“Sometimes, people even drink it in the mornings with kulchas (mildly leavened flatbread) or at night after dinner because they believe it eases out the digestion process. It is my favourite summer drink and it can even replace a midday meal.”

Packed with benefits and a few drawbacks

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The drink was first made in Victorian England during the 1880s, and can be made with endless combinations of flavour Image Credit: Mineragua Sparkling Water/Unsplash.com

Often consumed during the summer, doodh soda is good as the combination brings out the benefits of electrolytes, which are a good source of energy. It helps with dehydration, primarily

- Dr Javeria Qureshi, Clinical Dietician at Thumbay Hospital, Fujairah

Like Muhammad said, doodh soda is consumed with the firm belief that it is healthy for the body. We spoke to Fujairah-based Pakistani expatriate Dr Javeria Qureshi of Thumbay Hospital, who said: “There are pros and cons to the drink. Often consumed during the summer, doodh soda is good as the combination brings out the benefits of electrolytes, which are a good source of energy. It helps with dehydration, primarily.

“In terms of disadvantages, this drink may not be a good option for those with a sensitive stomach because milk is alkaline in nature and soda is acidic. It can lead to clotting in the stomach, if not mixed in equal proportions, and can also cause acidity. However, the benefits overpower the disadvantages.”

While it is the go-to summer drink for those in Pakistan, the drink was first made in Victorian England during the 1880s.

A summer drink for Victorian Era cyclists

According to US-based author and historian, Sarah A. Chrisman, who specialises in Victorian history, it was the “drink of choice for cyclists in the 1880s and 1990s”, as noted in her blog thisvictorianlife.com.

Eventually, the combination faded over time in England and emerged in Pakistan during the first half of the 19th century.

A staple during Ramadan

I remember, my grandfather was particularly fond of having doodh soda; and he used to bring this large green bottle of ‘Quice ice cream syrup’ and mix it with milk and soda.

- Tooba Masroor, 25

Doodh soda continues to be a staple in many Pakistani households, especially during Ramadan and special occasions. “Doodh soda takes me back to my childhood in Karachi, Pakistan,” explained 25-year-old Dubai-based Pakistani expatriate Tooba Masroor, who works as a general manager for a 3D printing firm. “I lived in a joint family along with my paternal grandparents, so my love for food comes from a very young age. I remember, my grandfather was particularly fond of having doodh soda; and he used to bring this large green bottle of ‘Quice ice cream syrup’ and mix it with milk and soda.

“I was first introduced to the drink during Ramadan. It gets really hot in Karachi. We used to wait for iftar. Our table used to have doodh soda and rooh afza or jameshirin (a sweet red coloured syrup mixed in water). It was such a good feeling… that first sip of doodh soda after the fast ends – it is still so fresh in my memory.”

Today, as the popularity of this South Asian drink continues to grab social media attention in the West (especially in Utah, USA), the best part of the trend seems to be the endless number of combinations one can try.

To try or not to try

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The ultimate summer drink, made using only three ingredients Image Credit: Thorsten/Pixabay.com

Similar to the ice cream float where a plain carbonated drink (like 7-up or Sprite) is added to any flavour of ice cream, Pakistan’s doodh soda can be made with any flavour of carbonated drink and paired with milk.

“Commonly, we just add sprite or carbonated water. But, you can experiment with it, although I do feel that a flavoured carbonated drink may not bring out the true taste of it,” added Masroor.

It definitely is a good way to get a glass of milk in your system, if there is someone who doesn’t like to drink it as is.

- Fareeha Jay, 42

So far, this trend has received mixed responses, with many users calling it “tasty” and “delicious”. Forty-two-year-old UK-based dietician Fareeha Jay from Pakistan, feels that this trend could lead to health issues if not made correctly or if consumed too often “Personally, the combination of milk mixed with soda has never appealed to me. However, it is a good way to try something new, especially because social media shows the many ways in which one can make this drink. But I do feel that as separate ingredients, both milk and soda, bring out greater benefits. When mixed together, it should be consumed occasionally and not as a routine. It definitely is a good way to get a glass of milk in your system, if there is someone who doesn’t like to drink it as is.”

Here’s a quick 3-ingredient recipe from Tooba Masroor to try:

Ingredients:

1 to 2 tbsp of flavoured syrup (such as rooh afza or any fruit flavoured bottled syrup)

½ cup milk

½ cup club soda (you can use Sprite or 7-up)

Method:

1. To a tall glass, pour the flavoured syrup at the base of the glass.

2. Pour half a glass of milk and mix well.

3. Lastly, pour club soda and mix well. Serve with ice cubes and enjoy.

Note: You can also skip the flavoured syrup and use a flavoured carbonated drink instead.

Ready to try it? Share your experience with us on food@gulfnews.com

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