In a nutshell:
A shop selling only two excellent items – plain Thandai & bhang thandai.
Address & other details: Raja thandai
Meal for 2: Rs 60 onwards.
Cuisine type : vegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
This Foodie madness post is a part of a series called Culinary pilgrimage – On a weekend in Jan 15 we decided to travel to Lucknow on Culinary pilgrimage. A 2 day trip to Lucknow just to eat out at the numerous streetfood shops that have survived over time……….We ended up eating at 9 places in a span of 26 hours & spent a total of approx Rs. 1200. The cost of staying at Lucknow & travelling to Lucknow from Delhi was, needless to say, many times more.
For the uninitiated, Thandai is a drink that is supposed to ‘cool’(as in temperature). It can b had as it is or with bhaang (Bhaang is a preparation from the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant, consumed in a beverage). The base of the drink is thickened milk & things that ge added to it are – sweetener, spices like cardamom, saunf (fennel seeds), black pepper etc and dry fruits like cashew, pistachios etc.
This shop is appox a century and half old.
The signboard reads ‘ Poustikam madhuram swadu mishthanam’ which kind of translates into ‘healthy enjoyable taste sweet’. It also mentions the name of the person who started the shop & does mention the current name of the shop.
Once inside the shop, we found that it had two rooms , one after the other. The inside room was more for use by the shop staff than for Customers.
There were chairs and benches for customers to sit and wait for their drink.
Menu card was on the wall.
The current owner is a very interesting person who loves to tell stories. He told us how & why bhaang was ‘poustik’ & good for health & how it gave long life – ‘Bhaang takes away the tension & soothes the nerves. So people get good sleep & hence they are tension free and live a long life’.
He also mentioned how he uses the ancient method of using natural herbs and roots to make the drink as opposed to some others using cheaper chemical induced ingredients that give a ‘high’ much faster.
He said ‘it is not about the instant high that one should drink the thandai, but because of the overall great feel’.
He also told us some ‘real’ life stories of ‘possessed people’ – He was such a good story teller that we were almost like watching a movie.
Recommend u to go here when u have lots of time and engage in a conversation with this gentleman over a glass of thandai – I think u will come back with a unique experience.
I was amazed to see people coming in (seemed like lunch break at work), drink a bhaang thandai, and walk away. I guess he was having 2-3 customers per minute….
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to NJOY reading:
We had 1 of both.
Plain thandai was thick and creamy enough to give a great feel in the mouth but was thin enough to b poured into a glass without being lumpy. Spices made their presence felt from the time the drink entered the moth to its after taste. Different spices wud show up at different time, thus giving a very good experience.
Rate the thandai 4/5
Bhaang thandai had almost a similar feeling but was less creamy due to addition of the green colored bhang leaf concentrate. Taste also varied a bit & this was slightly less sweet than the former. True to what he said, the drink was not about instant ‘hit’ but it was slow and nice.
Rate this 4.25/5
Overall rating of thandai at Pandit Raja averages out to 4.1/5
I wud not miss an opportunity to get back, enjoy a good chat, with few glasses of thandai.