A Banta or Goli Soda—also known as Masala Soda as a household name—is a traditional Indian street drink. It is dominated by a flavorful lemonish ting and comes in a cod-shaped bottle.
This summer street drink mainly draws attention due to its loud popping sound. This sound emanates from the built-up carbonated pressure relieving when the bottle is popped open and when the marble that secures it hits the bottom of the bottle.
With its history dating back to the 1870s, Banta soda was originally a lemon-fizzy drink that had an added mix of local Indian spices, giving it a flavorful kick. This is probably why Banta Soda gained the popularity it has to this day.
Today, Banta soda is part of Indian pop culture and a fan favorite with its many variations produced on a large scale. Banta soda can be found in cans and pre-packaged bottles and sold at five-star hotels, bars, and cafes. However, you can still get the original street version anywhere at the Indian market from carts of street sellers known as “bantawallahs.”
You might wonder, what is it about this fizzy drink that has made a billion people love it so much? Well, read on to find out!
What Is Banta Made Of?
Primarily, Banta soda comprises a fizzy, carbonated base, lemon juice, crushed ice, chat masala, and black salt. Lemonade with bubbles and spices—and though it sounds a bit weird, it tastes incredibly refreshing!
Banta soda provides a perfect mix of tang that originates from the lemon, spice from the chat masala, and zing from the carbonation. This refreshing and tasty drink will excite your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Several variations of Banta Soda have popped up over the years, but we commonly see them swapping out the orange for the lemon. The citrussy base keeps the tang, but the orange adds more of an overpowering flavor and a pretty pastel orange color.
Another variation of the Banta soda is called Paneer Soda. It a popular in the south of India and is made with an aromatic addition of rose essence.
Because Banta soda has been a staple summer drink for ages, Indians have come up with their fun and favorite variations. Of course, everyone has their recipe to make the best Banta Soda of their choice, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find the original amongst Delhi’s vibrant street food life.
Is Banta Soda Good For Your Health?
While gulping down Banta Soda bottles, you might not have the time to think about whether it’s good or bad for you. Well, luckily, Banta soda is not harmful.
Banta soda contains little sugar, and no evidence suggests that a carbonated beverage could be bad for you. Drinking Banta soda is a good way to hydrate and regain all electrolytes lost during the hot summer weather. That said, an excess of anything can adversely affect your body.
So, enjoy your favorite summer drink happily. It has pure ingredients and is not unhealthy at all!
Who Created Banta Soda?
Banta Soda has been around for as long as we remember. Some reports suggest that Banta Soda was being sold by a “Pandit Ved Prakash Lemon Wale” as early as the 1870s.
There are sightings of this alleged creator of the OG Banta Soda’s lost address on the internet, but we can’t be sure where exactly to find him.
Nonetheless, the fact that it has been around for centuries is mindblowing, and all props to its creator, who shifted all of India’s summer drink staples to his signature, zingy and refreshing Banta Soda.
Can You Make Banta Soda At Home?
Banta Soda is a popular taste, and if you’re not anywhere near India to try it from a street vendor, don’t be disappointed—it is effortless to make it at home!
You need just a few ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon black salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- Carbonated soda/ sparkling water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2-3 fresh mint leaves
- 4 lemons, halved
- Boil a cup of water.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the half cup of sugar with water and let it melt into a syrup-like consistency.
- Add 2 tablespoons of this sugar-water syrup into a glass, one teaspoon of black salt, crushed black peppercorns, and one teaspoon of chaat masala.
- Squeeze 1 or 2 lemons into the mixture
- Mix it all until homogenous, and add a few cubes of ice
- Pour in your choice of any clear carbonated soda or sparkling water
- Finally, top with some fresh mint leaves, and enjoy!
For a more in-depth visual of how to make Banta Soda at home, check out this YouTube video: मसाला सोडा | Masala Soda | Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana
Several variations of Banta Soda exist, so don’t be afraid to add a few drops of rose essence to turn it into the south Indian special, Panneer Soda.
A famous improvisation of this Masala drink is a Banta Soda Float. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen whipped cream at the top is a favorite for many people. If you’re into float variations of favorite drinks, this might be the one for you.
How Many Calories Are In Banta Soda?
If you’re counting calories, you might wonder how many Banta Sodas there are.
A Banta soda you make at home or get from a street vendor will have a rough estimate of 40 calories based on the amount of sugar and spices there.
The number of calories Banta soda has won’t set your daily calorie intake off, so don’t worry about how many extra calories you might take and enjoy this refreshing masala fizzy drink!
Banta Soda has been around for a good time and even today is the go-to summer drink for almost all of the Indian population. It is a perfect cool-down drink providing all the necessary elements for refreshment.
Having been around for years, locals have created their favorite recipes for this cultural drink, and they, too, are worth trying.
Today, Banta Soda, Goli Soda, or Masala Soda is widely loved and a staple. But, try it out for yourself, and you will understand what the hype is all about.