If truth be told, the mastani has become one of the most favoured desserts among people in Pune.
But as is the case with many success stories, ‘Sujata’ and its mastani (thick shake) had a very humble beginning.
Raoji Mama Kondhalkar was just 14 when he left his village near Satara and migrated to Pune, where he started doing odd jobs.
He began his career by working in an incense stick-producing unit, slowly climbed up the ladder to buy a tonga (horse-drawn two-wheeler) and eventually set up a paan (betel leaves) shop in Sadashiv Peth.
With the determination to take his father’s business forward, Sharadrao rented a grocery shop near the paan stall and started selling cold drinks and ice cream.
In 1967, this rented shop was rechristened as ‘Sujata’ after his daughter and they started selling mastani.
But Sharadrao made a revolutionary change to how mastani was prepared.Before Kondhalkar’s edition, mastani was a drink made of milk and ice cubes, topped with ice cream and rose syrup. But the ice cubes made the drink watery.
Kondhalkar did away with the ice entirely. He replaced it with ice cream blended in milk and finally crowned this milkshake with a scoop of ice cream.
The Kondhalkars introduced one flavour after another, but their mango flavour has arguably been their best seller for the past 50 years.
“Masta”, which means awesome or great in Marathi was the usual reaction of the consumers, and this christened the dessert as mastani.No preservatives are used in the making of this dish, and the raw products are completely organic.
A dessert one can consume without guilt; it will always be the summer love of Pune.