The original juice bar: ganne ka ras in Rajasthan

On an afternoon stroll around Udaipur with Meenu (my Indian BFF) and her husband, we escaped the heat in favour of some sweet refreshment.

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When she first asked me whether I wanted a sugarcane juice, I anticipated she was going to take me to a nice little air-conditioned café with words such as “organic,” “cleansing” and “a shot of wheatgrass elixir” banded around… OK, of course I didn’t, but what I didn’t realise was that we were going to a broom cupboard with a huge industrial-sized mangle and half a sugarcane forest in the corner.

Sugarcane juice is, simply, the juice squeezed from a sugarcane, which is a massive tropical green plant that looks a bit like bamboo. It is apparently the world’s largest crop, with India being the second largest producer (after Brazil). Sucrose (sugar) is extracted from sugarcane, and accounts for 80% of the world’s supply, the rest coming from sugar beet.

The Persians and Greeks discovered “reeds that produce honey without bees” in India during the sixth and fourth centuries BC and trading in this expensive, luxury item began. Cultivation was largely confined to India, until the 18th Century when large-scale migrations lead to ethnic Indians and sugarcane crops spreading all over the world.

Sugarcane juice is sold by vendors all over Rajasthan, and is called “ganne ka ras.” Back to the roadside broom cupboard in Udaipur, we managed to squeeze through the hustle and bustle to get a seat on a bench to watch the action. After a fun display of mass-scale noisy juicing, the crowds gathered to collect the delicious nectar. A splash of masala (spice blend) and some lemon juice and there you have it: a glass of yummy sweet green stuff.

Sugarcane and masala with my BFF Meenu

Sugarcane juice with masala with my BFF Meenu

Sugarcane juice bar Udaipur

Industrial-sized juicer

 Some more pictures of beautiful Udaipur

Lake Pichola, Udaipur

Lake Pichola, Udaipur (I took circa 75 of this view alone)

Lake Pichola, Udaipur, view from my guesthouse

Lake Pichola, Udaipur (yes, here is another)

Lake Pichola and Udaipur's City Palace

Lake Pichola and Udaipur’s City Palace in the background. Blurry, but I love it because it was so beautiful and I was as happy as I look in this picture!

Udaipur's City Palace day during the day

What a great spot to sit: woman looking at Udaipur’s City Palace over Lake Pichola

By the footbridge, Udaipur

Sitting by the footbridge, Udaipur, watching a group of men (just behind the table) playing chess.

 

 

4 Comments

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4 Responses to The original juice bar: ganne ka ras in Rajasthan

  1. So much I didn’t know about sugarcane, even though I’ve been to Brazil! It looks like fun to watch them make the juice, and I love your photos! :)

  2. I love sugar cane juice and drink it almost as often as I come across it, which is a lot these days. It’s so tasty and healthy, probably my second favorite to fresh coconut water.

    In Colombia they also put lime in if you want it, not masala spices though.

    • BeccaHills

      Hi Mike – I had never had it before, but will do from now on. Not sure where you can get it round London though!

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