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Let us start by saying, Pune has a rather amazing habit of giving nicknames to just about anything. A sev potato dahi puri becomes SPDP and a busy market street of Appa Balwant Chowk gets shortened to ABC. For an outsider, these abbreviations can be overwhelming, but you know you have been accepted by the locals, once they start calling you by a name they have picked for you.

Mastani is one such interesting name in the culinary scene in the city of Peshwas. Mastani is a milkshake that comes topped with a dollop of hand churned ice-cream. While that’s a basic structure of the drink, some people also add fresh cut fruits, dry fruits and even whipped cream. The recipe for this was first designed by a cold drink centre called Kaware. It is believed that when guests tried it for the first time, they would exclaim ‘masta’ (awesome). And ‘masta’ drink that was available on Peshwa Bajirao’s homeground got named after his lover — Mastani. It has now become a part of Pune’s food heritage.

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Vijay Nanda

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