Poles discover joys of mango lassi

September 2nd, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Warsaw, Sep 2 (IANS) The Poles, who love Bollywood films and adore Shah Rukh Khan, are pushing aside their beer or vodka in favour of a delicious new Indian drink - mango lassi.With summer in full swing in this Polish capital, people have discovered a new way to beat the heat in the yogurt-based mango drink. Popularising it are Indian restaurants and fast food joints that have come up in the last few years thanks to the presence of 3,000 Indian expats.

There are 10 Indian restaurants in Warsaw alone and many more are coming up in other important Polish towns such as Gdansk, Poznan and Krakow.

Earlier, chicken tikka and samosas were regarded as delicacies of Indian cuisine, but this year mango lassi is doing a great business. It is not only Indian customers who are patronising this beverage, but the number of Poles asking for mango lassi has increased manifold too.

According to Devinder Singh who runs a chain of Maharaja restaurants in Warsaw, “It is amazing that Polish customers are ordering for mango lassi instead of beer or vodka when they frequent my restaurants. I am selling almost 200 glasses of mango lassi these days.

“Mind you, my restaurants are not that cheap. A glass of lassi costs six dollars and it is much costlier than beer or even vodka,” Singh told IANS.

Ashok Manani, who runs two fast food joints called Namaste India, agreed. “My sale of mango lassi has gone up 10-fold and there is hardly any customer who does not order for mango lassi.

“It has become a good combination to order mango lassi along with samosa or biryani or chicken tikka. I am happy the way the Polish customers are enjoying the Indian beverage.”

Indo-Polish Cultural Committee president Janusz Krzyzowski explained: “One important reason for the popularity of mango lassi is that 15,000 Poles who go to India annually developed a taste for it during their stay there. Now they can relish the same thing in Warsaw and a few other towns in Poland.

“The word of mouth has created publicity for mango lassi. I think the phenomenon will not be restricted to this year and the sale of mango lassi will grow much faster in the coming years.”

Why? “After all, mango is one of the most delicious fruits in the world and we cannot grow it in Poland because of our climate. So we will have to depend on mango imports from India or other countries to satisfy our increasing demand.”

A mango festival organised here last year by then Indian ambassador to Poland Anil Wadhwa too seems to have left an impact.

It will not be much of a surprise if some Polish restaurants too start selling mango lassi soon.

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