One of the high points of accompanying ma for shopping in summers in Chandannagore was the lassi. The biggest market in Chandannagore was Laxmiganj bazar and once a month or perhaps once in two months, I used to accompany ma for her shopping.
In summers, the attraction to go for this otherwise mundane shopping routine was Ganesh Mishtanna Bhandar. Ganesh Mishtanna Bhandar was one of the well known sweet shops of the Bazar and in the summers, it used to be flocked by the customers for their lassi. The meticulous process of taking out the exact quantity of yogurt, those days huge slice of ice slabs were used, so the required amount of ice was crushed between the gunny bag. Hand made, the sound of the wooden stirrer or mathani (Indian whisk) moving clock wise and anti clockwise and the last bit of ice cubes getting crushed and finally poured from a high distance into the glass. We used to have a sweet one and the foam on the top was the trigger for many a conversation between ma and me.
When I visited Pahelwan Lassi in Varanasi – a well known joint for lassi, could find the difference where not only a piece of malai or the top layer of the yoghurt is being given but also a piece of rabdi. There is a little bit of showbiz involved in the way it is being prepared but the trick lies while eating. Ideally, it is often suggested by the locals and the shop owners that you have one scoop of malai and a sip and again one scoop of rabdi and a sip. This is filling and richer in texture and composition than the ones which are found in other parts of the country.
In case you are as crazy as me for Varanasi then click here – I promise it wont disappoint you
When the lassi comes to Bengal, it seems it turns to ghol. The primary difference is the consistency and the nature of the milk used. Buffalo milk is not very popular in this part of the country, so the art of making thick curd is not there that much. These days, the intense heat and ever increasing waistline has forced a change in the breakfast pattern and this is the latest addition. While you can debate the constituents of this aam khejurer ghol (or smoothie) with a shade of sweetness may not be that effective in the waistline but I find this is filling, the chunks of dates from time to time and the mango flavour isn’t what all that one can ask for in summers?
Whats your favourite smoothie for summer? These are some of the innovative summer coolers which ruled kolkata this year which I wrote about in Eazydiner.