Okay, who doesn’t like Lassi? Especially, in this sultry Indian summer? And though we quite a few known and many unknown lassi shops, I haven’t really come across any dedicated lassi zone in Kolkata. But Barrackpore, being a small hamlet at a 1.5-hour driving distance from Kolkata, has the same. Yes- a dedicated lassi zone. And apart from Dada Boudi Biryani and D’Bapi biryani, it’s a must-visit. This blogpost is on the same- lassi at Barrackpore.
If you go to Barrackpore by local train, just come out of the station and look at your right. You can’t miss the numerous shops churning out the endless glasses of lassi. Well, there’s a surprise. Few of the shops, prefer to call them the Mocktail specialist, and not lassi. And if you’re still looking for the location on google map, well, here it is… https://goo.gl/maps/D1yCzMfeAYimtTSU9
Lassi can be called the smoothie of India, or rather the Indian sub-continent. It probably originated somewhere around 1,000 BC and we get its reference in many ancient texts and books. The earlier ingredients, probably, were fruits- natural sweeteners and pure spices, but the recipe has changed a lot throughout the years.
The Punjabi (or Multani) Lassi, Buttermilk, and our Bengali ghol are quite similar in nature. So, let me take the liberty of talking about the difference. Lassi is made by adding a small amount of water to the curd, mostly to get the right consistency. I’ve even seen bina-pani-ka-lassi (lassi without water- thick heavy stuff) in Varanasi and Amritsar. Sweeteners and flavorings are added afterward and whisked. I am slightly confused about the wordplay here- is it whisked, or is it churned- not sure.
Buttermilk uses a different variety called the chaanch or chhach. It is formed after removing the butterfat and is of a thinner consistency. Our Bengali ghol is again a thin yogurt-based dessert and normally is without any artificial sweeteners. But again, the recipe for the same varies hugely.
Let me be honest here. There are multiple shops in this small zone, and taste-wise, I find them pretty similar. Considering few here are doing business for over four decades in the same area, they’ve trained the young ones quite well. You can choose any shop with less crowd and you’re good to go. On this day, we tasted lassi at Kalu Da’s shop and Sinha Lassi. Multiple varieties are there, depending on the essence and concentrated pulp that they have in store. My personal favorites are, badam lassi and mango lassi,
Lassi at Barrackpore station is done not with the churning machine, but rather in an old-fashioned way. and it’s always a pleasure hearing that sound. Pricing is pretty good. A small glass is priced around 20-30/- and a large glass is just 5/- extra. And my suggestion is to opt for the large one.
I won’t say, the taste is the best in the world, or it’s mind-blowing- but rather pretty decent stuff, that you can get in this price range. The making process is a treat to the senses and it is a good cooler. Have your choice from the multiple options and… cheers!!!
Lassi at Barrackpore is love and the dedicated lassi zone at Barrackpore station is quite a treat for our senses. But if you’re there around the afternoon or evening, Sudama Roll is a must-visit there- on your left, once you come out from the station. In fact, it’s another food zone with numerous options. But that zone probably needs another blog post. Or rather, check the Foodka video Below…
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