A stone’s throw away from north Kolkata’s College Street (home to book shops and two prestigious universities), tucked away in a hidey-hole is the 96-year-old Paramount juice and sherbet centre, famed for its ‘daab sherbet’ or green coconut sherbet (a cold drink usually made with diluted fruit juices).
The sherbet – a mix of raw coconut water, its tender sweet pulp and an essence – is a creation of renowned chemist Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray.
“The shop used to be the hideout of freedom fighters and selling sherbets used to be a front. Nihar Ranjan Majumdar, who was a freedom fighter and a friend of Ray, set this shop up with him.
“The green coconut essence used in the sherbet is a secret and the drink we serve has remain unchanged. The coconuts are specially sourced from Basirhat in North 24-Parganas,” Partha Majumdar, Nihar Ranjan’s grandson and shop manager, told IANS.
Majumdar said the drink is devoid of any synthetic product or extract and is a powerhouse of daab or green coconut’s benefits, which among others include, boosting immunity, enhancing kidney function, replenishing electrolytes and cooling down the digestive system.
“It is very popular among youngsters, most of whom are health conscious nowadays,” Majumdar added. Looking for something on the lines of smoothies and shakes albeit with an Indian touch?
Try the peppery Kadak Pudina Mirch ki Lassi (mint, green chillies with yoghurt) or the imaginative Mango Aur Tulsi ki Lassi (green mango, cumin and basil with yoghurt) at Funjabi Tadka, a specialty restaurant. There’s also a Pina Colada Lassi, laced with pineapple and coconut.
“Lassis are traditionally known for aiding the digestive system due to the presence of yoghurt. The added ingredients help in adding fibre and enhancing digestion,” restaurant manager Santosh told IANS.
So, go high on the ‘Puritea Twist’ section at The Tea Trove (TTT) in south Kolkata.
Popular for its repertoire of tea-based beverages, both hot and cold, the joint, with its eclectic décor and emphasis on ‘Tea Commandments’ (verses like ‘Thou Shall Understand the Four Different Types of Tea – White, Green, Oolong and Black’), makes a conscious effort to promote the goodness of tea.
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