Lemony banta is an Indian favourite among all summer drinks
The secret to making street-style banta revealed by YouTuber Alpa Modi
Indian summers call for the constant need for one to stay hydrated, especially when one is outdoors a lot. The intense Indian summer heat and the dry winds can break the most energetic of people and force them to seek some respite. This is where the humble thelas and shanty shacks selling a delightful mishmash of ice-creams and cold drinks come into the picture. While commuting from one place to another, people can be seen crowding around these dilapidated joints, scrambling to get their hands on a drink of cold sodas and faloodas, which feel like a small experience of heaven in the hellish blistering heat that wears people down. One such drink that a lot of people can swear has saved them from getting a heat stroke is the delicious lemon drink banta.
Banta is the Indian street-style lemonade, made by deft hands of roadside sellers who are capable of readying these drinks at blinding speeds. The sheer demand of banta during summers is what drives up the sales of these sellers, who are more than happy to serve the teeming customers queuing up around their stands. The drink itself is a glass of lemon-flavoured masala soda that refreshes you instantly. Banta sellers can be seen dumping spoonful of a secret masala into individual glasses before filling them up with chilled soda and fresh lemon juice. Each glass is then treated to an expert and quick shake before the bubbly banta is ready for consumption!
We have often wondered what exactly goes into preparing that delicious masala for banta. It might be difficult to re-create the authentic street style taste at home if you don't get the masala just right. But YouTuber and home chef Alpa Modi has cracked the code. The masala contains black salt, black pepper powder (kaali mirch) and chaat masala. The dry ingredients are mixed together with the soda, lemon juice and sugar syrup and then served chilled with a couple of ice cubes. So if the summers have been weighing you down and you're craving a street-style banta drink, you can follow Alpa's recipe to re-create the delightful masala lemon soda drink in the comfort of your home.