Janakpuriya Lassi: A delicacy worth savoring


Ravi Nayak

Recently, the US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry visited Janakpurdham, the interim capital of Province-2. During his visit, he enjoyed the taste of famous beverage in Janakpur named Lassi, along with Paan (betel) and even enjoyed the rickshaw ride. The Ambassador enthusiastically expressed his admiration for Lassi in his tweet, “I finally got a chance to enjoy famous Janakpuria Lassi & Paan. Trust me, they were one of the best I ever had!  And the Local Rickshaw ride was unforgettable experience, too!”.

It can be inferred that the tweet of Ambassador Randy vested huge respect towards Janakpuria Lassi and its taste. His appreciation of Lassi’s taste explicitly conveys that the taste of Lassi transcends boundaries. Indeed, the tweet will surely support the “Visit Nepal 2020” campaign, attracting tourists to Janakpur.

Janakpuriya Lassi has gained immense popularity in Kathmandu as well. Many vendors have started selling Lassi with the brand name of “Janakpuriya Lassi” though it differs from the original taste of Janakpuriya Lassi.

Lassi, probably one of the most loved beverages during the summer, is made of yogurt. Lassi is the ultimate summer refresher and is the amalgamation of yogurt, water and spices or sweeteners as well as dry fruits. There are varieties of flavor in Lassi like Sweet Lassi, Salty Lassi, Mango Lassi, Bhang Lassi (mostly made during Holi Festival) and so on. Lassi makes the consumer feel cool in summer heat but it is enjoyed all around the year.

Also from the perspective of health benefits, Lassi aids digestion as the yogurt contains lactobacillus bacteria that lubricates the intestine, breaks down the food, absorbs the nutrients and helps in smooth digestion. Lassi contains healthy bacteria that help keep away the bad bacteria and prevents stomach bloats. It helps make bone stronger and consuming it daily assures good dental health as Lassi is rich in calcium. Lassi also contains Vitamin D and lactic acid which helps boost immunity and maintain youthful skin.

Lassi business can be started with a small capital of around 200,000 rupees with low risk and high-profit potential.  In the Terai Belt, the summers are lengthy, spanning about nine months so we can expect good sales of Lassi every year. A single Lassimaker sells thousands of glasses of Lassi a single day during high summer in Janakpur. Indeed, there is a probability of widening the favorable environment for Lassi business. One of the Lassi vendors told the scribe that the demand of Lassi rises during the festivals like Dashain, Chhaath and other main festivals of Janakpur and revenue is double than in normal days. To ensure brisk sales all year round there is a need to promote Lassi which is the most preferable and special beverage of Janakpur. It’s not only a beverage, rather it contains geographical and cultural identity as well as the emotional attachment.

The provincial and local governments and business forums in Janakpur should promote and encourage Lassi business from tourism, cultural and economic development perspective. They should promote Lassi globally and domestically to fetch domestic as well as international tourists. The central, provincial and local government should highlight the importance of Lassi on their official websites as well as social media platforms. Social media users should promote Lassi from their respective platforms. Even the hotels and restaurants in Janakpur should advertise Lassi and serve it in their hotels. The government should keep the pamphlet of Janakpuria Lassi in both Tribhuvan International Airport as well as domestic airport of Janakpur which will help international as well as domestic tourists to acquire knowledge about it. Every flight for Janakpur from Kathmandu should distribute a pamphlet informing the traveler about Janakpuria Lassi.

The writer is pursuing BALLB (Hons.) at National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

Published on 25 November 2019