Lassi in Ramnagar near Varanasi
Monsoons are getting a bit delayed leading to continuous desire to gulp something cold, to quench the thirst. But we desis always love a jugaad and love to hit two birds with one stone hence we invented Lassi.
Now those of you reading it from outside of India and are not aware of what Lassi is, fikar not as I am about to give the synopsis of one my friend’s PhD thesis titled “ Uses of Bovine fluids and Cane Sugar in the Indo Gangetic Plains for nutritional benefits, overcoming heat strokes and management of intestinal disorders”
OK, baba don’t worry I am just kidding, Lassi is a nutritious health drink made from curd (yogurt) and you add some sugar or salt as per your taste and serve chilled. That is it, but whatever I said in the PhD part is also true. One of the best Lassi I had was on the outskirts of divine city of Varanasi on a hot afternoon. We were returning after visiting the Ramnagar fort and were loitering around to stick our camera in faces of unsuspecting shopkeepers, who had no idea that we were not shoppers but photographers who only click and not buy anything. When I saw this internationally world-famous Lassi Shop- “Shiv Prasad Lassi Bhandar“, what an appropriate name for a Lassi shop in the city of Shiva.
Instantly the desi in me wanted a few glasses and the orders were placed to the shopkeeper, the camera setting were changed to capture the making of Lassi, from start to finish. But the shop does very miniscule business from visiting photographers and most of its income comes from locals. So soon the bench was occupied by locals and the view was obstructed and I could not click even a single picture of the making of Lassi.
This sweet Lassi in Banaras is more of a semi liquid that you actually need to eat due to dollops of malai that is liberally added at the top. Each batch is lovingly made in a small churner to the specification given by the patrons.
“Bhaiya Cum Meetha” – Bro I want it less sweet
“Jara malai extra dal dena- I want more Malai
No washing machine mass-produced Lassi in Banaras, you get what you want. And once your little Kulhar (a disposable earthen pot made by baking clay used in India since Indus Valley Civilization), becomes empty you temptingly look at all the Lassi clinging to the sides of Kulhar, look around if anybody is watching and start scraping it to relish the last bit of taste bud nirvana.
Though the Kulhar is not very big ( only about the size of a coffee mug ) I bet you will not be able to drink or eat more than 2 of them, such is the magic of Lassi made from pure milk that still has all its fat content intact. Please don’t embarrass yourself by asking for low-fat milk Lassi in Banaras, even a hundred holy dips in Ganga will not wash this sin.
So where is this Shiv Prasad Lassi Bhandar?
When you are coming out of Ramnagar Fort, on the on the first left you will see the rare statue of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the 2nd Prime Minister of India, just look towards the shops on left side and you will find a few people anxiously waiting for their Chalice of churned curd.
Price: Rs 25 per Kulhar or glass if you may
So if you are in Varanasi and visiting Ramnagar fort, you know where to get one of the best Lassi in town.
Other posts in Varanasi Series
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