Have a glass of the yummy drink
HYDERABAD: Fresh curd churns up and crushed ice hits the goblet with sugar crystals in tow. A flick of hand delivers the essence while the other hand scoops up generous measures of ‘khoya’ and ice cream. A little spray of Rooh Afza and voila, you have a glassful of tantalising ‘lassi’.
“Have it, have it,” nudges Mohammed Akbar, the man behind the counter. His day would be made when the customer, fighting back the revulsion at dipped fingers and dicey quality of ice, takes his first sip. In fact, Akbar’s day is made several times in its course, whenever pure joy of heavenly taste wipes out hesitation from his patron’s face.
“We have been serving ‘Lassi Faluda’ for ages at our café in Charminar where it is a year-long affair. We set up stalls across the city every summer,” he informs from his kiosk at the President Café near RTC Crossroads. ‘Faluda’ is a lesser-sought sister of ‘lassi’, prepared with Rooh Afza, milk and basil seeds neatly arranged in a glass. Topped with ice cream, tutty-fruity and ‘khoa’, it dons the appearance of a fluid ‘Sundae’.
Selling at Rs.7 and Rs.12 for small and large helpings respectively, Akbar’s ‘lassi’ and ‘faluda’ draw droves of customers of all ages. Come summer, umpteen ideas of scoring over the sun hit the roads. Guzzling down gallons of beer and cola drinks might suit the affluent, but a significant chunk also go for watermelons, coconut water, jal jeera sold in pudina pots, lemony sodas, and the evergreen ‘lassi’.
Nothing matches the delight of spotting a ‘Lassi Faluda’ banner strung to the discoloured walls of an Irani café. Sheetal Café at Mallepally is another famous hangout for ‘lassi’ lovers. About 2.5 kadhais of curds just fly off the shelf within a day, informs Giridhar Singh, owner. Though selling at Rs.15 and Rs.20 per glass, Sheetal’s preparations are very popular.
“I drive every day from Somajiguda just to quench my craving for the ‘lassi’. The taste is heavenly,” says Riyaz, a call centre employee. However, Giridhar feels demand is dull this season due to rising prices. Saidabad, Malakpet, Secunderabad and Charminar are a few other locations where one can expect lip-smacking ‘Lassi Faluda’.