Masala Chaas (Spiced Buttermilk)

Saturday morning had been strange. And strange it had been because I'd actually been up to witness morning. Now mornings and I are not the best of friends. I go to sleep just as she begins to wake up. The newspaper boy delivers the paper, people jog to and back from the Lake, fish vendors sell the fresh procures of the day by shouting at the tops of their voices, the world goes to office/school/college and by the time they are halfway through the day, I wake up. But this was not one such day. At daybreak, when I was about to go to sleep, my friend and fellow partner in this ongoing event Manjari (of For the Love of Food) pinged me on Gtalk to ask me whether I'd be game for a breakfast outside. Immediately we started ransacking Zomato for the perfect place that'd be close to both our houses so that we could rush back home if feeling sleepy. She was craving pancakes smothered with Nutella and I my patent breakfast indulgence Maharani's Kochuri Torkari. For the uninitiated, Maharani is a hole in the wall joint at Sarat Bose Road (South Calcutta), bang opposite Monalisa Guest House (made famous by Sujoy Ghosh and "Bidya Bagchi" Balan in Kahaani). It serves the best ever kochuri torkari I've tasted. The perfectly puffed up pooris dunked in a semi runny potato curry washed down with a jalebi or a gulab jamun are stuff that dreams are made of. Maharani also makes me nostalgic about my brief rowing stint whereby we would finish our morning's session and pamper ourselves with these fried delights on our way back home.
But after almost 2 hours of racking our brains, Manjari and I couldn't reach a solution over where to go and whether at all to go. As we were immersed in this discussion I saw my Dad get ready for his morning jog (yes, he goes for a run in the morning, I don't. He is 35 years older than me and 35 times fitter. Touch wood.) Here was my opportunity. I told him, "Baba, pherar pothe please koek ta Maharani niye esho, ami jege thakbo," (Dad, get me some Maharanis on your way back, I'll be awake.) Aah, order placed. I could now stay awake in peace. In the next one and a half hours I did all those things that I had stopped doing for a number of years now — read the morning's paper (a very gripping horror story is unraveling in Calcutta, just so you didn't know!), watched the breakfast news on telly, stretched and exercised a bit, took a bath even before the darkness had completely dissipated and made this Masala Chaas that would be the perfect accompaniment to the Maharani that was on its way!
Serves: 2

Yoghurt: 1 cup
Chilled Water: 3/4th cup
Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala: 3/4th tsp
Rock salt: to taste
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Green chilli, chopped finely: 1
Ice cubes: 6-8


1. Put everything in a blender and whiz till light and frothy. Sprinkle with red chilli powder and chaat masala for garnish and serve chilled. Really, how difficult can that be?
Summertime Love: Day 4
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