Lassi is one of the favourite coolers in summers in northern part of the country. I happen to have visited at three famous places serving Lassi as one of their specialty. Two of these are in Meerut, a small but fast growing city in UP and one in north Delhi. Here is my account of Lassi scouting good Lassi.
1. Lassi Corner Shop, Sadar Bazaar, Meerut :
This shop is located in old Sadar bazaar near the entrance gate to the market. It serves Lassi by the dozen in one go. I found lots of orders hitting from customers standing as well as from neighbouring shops. I saw the Lassi being made in front of me in an big vessel having the mixer. The Lassi was garnished with a thick layers of malai and almonds. For the first time I saw Malai coming out of a handheld machine churning out strips of Malai. The presentation looked good and inviting. However, as I took my bite into the Malai I found it to be synthetic although the Lassi tasted nice. The combination of almonds with Lassi didn’t work for me. Priced at Rs.15, I found this to be an average experience.
2. Hariya Ki Lassi, Teen Kurti Bazaar, Meerut :
Over 40 years old, this shop sits in the by-lanes of a small market called ‘Teen Kurti Bazaar’ in Meerut. This place serves you a unique Lassi experience. One, it serves it’s Lassi in a Kulhar (small earthen pot) and second it uses khoya burfi in the Lassi as a garnish in addition to fresh malai. I got my Lassi packed. Pricd at Rs.30 per Kulhar (appx 125 gms), we requested for our order to be packed which was promptly done in a plastic bag filled with crushed ice so that it remains cold during the drive back to home. This Lassi stood out for it’s taste, freshness and texture. The Burfi complimented sweet Lassi well and allowed one to enjoy the richness of sweet sins rolling in your mouth. The Malai was soft and fresh taking your already soaked tastebuds to a new high. And having Lassi in a kulhar adds several notches to the overall experience. The sugar rush in the body made it go WOW and demanded complete rest. That, for me is a true Lassi experience.
3. Bille di Hatti, Kamla Nagar, Delhi
One of the oldest shop in Kamlar Nagar and is famous for it’s Poori Chole and Lassi. On the way back from Meerut, we decided to visit this joint. I could see the owners at the entrance putting fresh Malai from top of the curd into glasses being filled with Lassi ready to be served or packed. A glass of Lassi came at Rs.30 and so did a plate of Chole Bhature! We had our Lassi after a nice plate of Chole Poori and loved the cold concoction of think curd, sugar and malai served to us. Well, having Lassi in a plastic glass isn’t one relish too much but the taste was good and satisfying.
To sum it all up…Well, who can not love a sweet, thick and cold Lassi in a hot summer. But when you want one, you want to have a good one. Given a choice, I would love to go to Hariya in Meerut again and again and again…