Sunday, September 26, 2004

keep your cool

‘One for the road’ is normally associated with hard drinks, a popular item in any party. An adult is supposed to consume at least eight liters of water every day to quench his thirst and to compensate for loss of water due to exertions and fatigue. In Western countries, drinks mean a liquid that provides energy and keeps the body warm. In tropical countries, on the other hand, drinks are meant to cool the body. Hence, we drink chilled water, iced lemon tea, different types of fruit juices and a combination of aerated drinks endorsed by cine personalities and cricketers. Ad spends run into crores of rupees and participants include old timers as well as up and coming stars who keep chanting lines like ‘yeh dil mange more’ – what their actual demand is remains an unknown entity shrouded in mystery. Storylines keep changing with the changing scenario and moods of people. A second group tells the viewer what ‘thanda’ actually is by having a village as the scene of action. Here the bottles are kept immersed in the water of a well to preserve its cool and to come to surface as and when demanded! Starting with 200 ml bottles, these cold drinks are sold in up to 2 liter bottles and are a rage with young and old alike. In order to keep pace with these MNCs, some fruit juices are marketed in polypack containers and are quite popular for those undertaking small journeys. Then there are the seasonal fruit juices like mango, orange, pineapple and sugar cane that are prepared and served in front of you.

The ‘lassi’ however, is a totally different kettle of drinks!!

Originally a north Indian product, it can today be found in any part of the country. I still remember my experiences when I first tasted this wonderful drink. Its preparation used to be a ritual of sorts. One person would pour some curd, sugar and water into a vessel. He would hold it tight in between his feet, insert a cylindrical shaped wooden ladle into the vessel and start churning the mixture vigorously. Another person would put some pieces of ice in a leather bag and, with the help of a flat wooden mallet, would crush the ice into tiny granules. When the churning was complete, the lassi maker would add these granules into it and serve.

Today, the complete process is mechanized.

In some restaurants, lassi is prepared once a day, in the morning, and preserved in a deep freezer – for withdrawal and issue based on demand. Unlike earlier days when it used to be prepared and served on demand to retain its freshness.

But the drink that is bound to steal a march over all others is pure coconut water. Untouched by hand, preserved in its natural surroundings till such time a demand actually arises, the water of a tender coconut is fresh, nourishing and need no endorsement by any screen or sports personality, young or old!

‘One for the road’, in the Indian context, is, undoubtedly, a tender coconut.

If you are lucky enough, you may be rewarded with the soft sweet kernel deftly scooped out of the shell by the vendors and offered back to you – to munch in leisure.


Blogger ratnaveera said...

Lassi is very helpful to clear heat from our body. Another plus is that we can easily prepare this immediately at low cost.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Foodfeasta said...

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2:11 AM  
Blogger A Kumar said...


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10:40 AM  
Blogger Abhi Ram said...

Superb Blog..
Best Sweets in Bangalore .

5:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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4:56 AM  

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