The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brits get sweet taste of lassi, '1 a bottle

London, Aug. 16: Mumtaz, one of the tastiest Pakistani restaurants in Bradford, is launching an unusual sideline ' lassi from vending machines.

The '1-operated machines will offer a choice of three flavours in 250 ml bottles ' mango, strawberry and sweet.

“Traditionally, lassi is salty but there is not much demand for that here,” said the company’s operations director, Rab Nawaz, who added all the profits from the venture would be donated to Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Nawaz told The Telegraph: “These days schools discourage children from having fizzy drinks but everyone agrees that lassi is very healthy.”

Initially, 20 vending machines will dispense the drinks but the idea is for the scheme to go nationwide. “We will need 500 bottles for Bradford alone,” Nawaz pointed out.

The company began in 1979 when Nawaz’s late mother, Farzand, began a takeaway service from a 4ft'3ft space in Bradford. That was named Mumtaz after her son.

Mumtaz became a restaurant which built up a reputation for excellent Frontier cuisine. Its diners would come from far and wide to partake of its parathas, kebabs and other meat dishes.

Today, said Nawaz, the company, which has gone into the chilled and frozen foods, does annual business “worth '10 million plus”.

“We have a standing order every week for '500 for charitable donations and wondered how we could help Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which relies on public donations,” he said. “They need a new helicopter.”

Mumtaz Foods went into making lassi, which is available through supermarkets and even at Harrods Food Hall. “We sell millions of bottles,” said Nawaz. “We have just sent three palettes (packs), each with 1,200 bottles, to Khan’s, which is a well known restaurant in west London. At Mumtaz in Bradford, lassi is the best selling drink.”

With lassi, Mumtaz Foods are targeting hospitals, schools, offices and factories, following government health campaigns on the quality of vending machine products.

Nawaz said: “All we need is the space to site the machine and the opportunity for people to see and buy a lassi drink.”

Chicken tikka masala is already the favourite food of the Brits. Soon, they will be able to wash it down with lassi.

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