I doubt most of you have ever heard of sobia it’s a very old fashioned traditional recipe of Saudi. One so old that it’s in fact starting to die with the new generation as time goes on in Riyadh but I have heard the drink thrives on in the Western province. Sobia is a barley drink made in the homes of the older generation during the Holy month every year. Men usually go out after asr and set up a little stand to sell their homemade sobia to the passersby’s to take home and have for iftar. I usually see 4 different colors clear, yellow, red and purple. Some are flavored with raisins, tamarind while others are plain. Sobia is pretty cheap and its sellers do not sell for the money but more so to try to keep a tradition live.
Sobias ingredients include barley, brown bread, cinnamon, sugar and cardamom. The bread and barley is placed in a large pot for 24 hours then the mixture is boiled with the above spices and sits another day. Then the bread is strained and poured and sugar is added into 1-1/2 liter jugs or large plastic bags. This is the recipe I was able to get to share with you all. Personally I am not a fan of sobia I mean it taste like bread and water which is not something I like but those who grew up on it love it.
1 whole wheat pita bread
12 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon oats
1. Cut bread into small pieces. In a large bowl add 6 cups of the water, oats, 3/4 cup of the sugar and bread, soak overnight.
2. Squeeze bread with hands, drain twice with a strainer. Add cardamom, cinnamon and then drain for a third time.
3. Add remaining water and sugar; stir well until sugar has dissolved. Pour into jugs and place into refrigerator.
* I hope you all can see the sobia well enough. My husband snapped this for me on a cloudy day through a dirty window with an Iphone lol.