Lassi is a traditional Indian beverage, originally from Punjab, made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin. The Lassi of the Punjab sometimes uses a little milk and is topped with a thin layer of malai, a clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream. Lassis are enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment.
Sweet lassi is a more recent invention, flavored with sugar, rosewater and/or mango, strawberry, pineapple, lychee or other any fruit juice.
The Traditional Lassi is a salty yogurt drink which is a thicker consistency than that of buttermilk. It can be spiced with various spices and ingredients, but it almost always includes ground cumin powder. Here are two types of Savory Lassi- one the classic plain lassi and the second with a Mint twist. It’s extremely easy and quick to make not to mention very refreshing and cooling to beat the heat of Summer.
Salty Lassi(Serves 4)
3 cups plain yogurt
1 cup cold water.
1 fresh green chili, seeded and very finely chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro(coriander)or mint leaves to decorate
Crushed ice to serve
Pour the yogurt and water into blender for 1 min.
Add in the chili, cumin, season to taste with salt and pepper and bled together
Serve over crushed ice
Garnish with a sprinkle of cumin powder and finely chopped cilantro (coriander)or mint.
Mint Lassi (Serves 3-4)
5 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
2 cups plain yogurt
1½ tsp rock salt (kala namak)
½tsp roasted, ground cumin seeds
½ tsp salt, or taste
1 cup of chilled water
4-6 ice cubes
Put yogurt, mint, cumin seeds, rock salt in a blender. Blend for a few seconds.
Add chilled water and ice cubes. Blend till frothy. Serve sprinkled with a pinch of ground roasted cumin seeds(powder) and garnish with finely chopped mint
Sweet Lassi the is a more recent variation of the traditional Salty Lassi but has become hugely popular and has out done the former. It is drunk mainly in northern India during the hot summer months. Rose water is a common ingredient in for Sweet Lassi and adds a sweet, perfumed aroma.
Sweet Lassi can be customized and flavoured with any fruit of choice from Mango (the most popular), Pineapple, Bananna, Lychee, Strawberry and so on.
Here are some recipes for the different types of sweet Lassi you can make. They are all super easy and quick to make…lets start with the Plain Sweet lassi with is the basic recipe for the others as well leaving out the rosewater and cardamom.
Plain Sweet lassi (Serves 2)
1 green cardamom pod
100 ml natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 ½ tsp caster or demerara sugar
1 tsp rose water
200 ml cold water
4 mint leaves
Method: Use the back of a spoon to gently crush a green cardamom pod, until it splits. Remove the seeds with your fingers, and throw away the outer case.Put the cardamom seeds into a mixing bowl or jug, along with 100ml of unsweetened natural yoghurt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of caster or demerara sugar, 1 teaspoon of rose water and 200ml of cold water. Use a hand blender to blend the mixture into a smooth paste.Pour into glasses. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Mango Lassi is very easy to make.It’s best made with fresh mangoes but can also be substituted by canned mangoes or even mango juice.
Mango Lassi Recipe: (Serves 2)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mango pulp or pieces of mango(fresh or canned)
1 cup crushed ice
3 table spoons sugar / Use sugar substitute if desired
Blend all of the above. Add a little water if the consistency is too thick. Keep refrigerated. Serve chilled. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Makes 4 servings. It’s as Simple as that!
Banana Lassi Recipe (Serves 2)
150 g ice cube, crushed well
150 ml ice water
150 g natural yoghurt
2 very ripe banana, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 teaspoon honey (optional)
1 pod crushed cardamom
Blend all of the above ingredients together in a blender. Served chilled and garnish with a slice of banana.
Strawberry Lassi (Serves 5)
1 lb fresh strawberry, trimmed and halved (3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, rounded
1 pinch salt
2 cups plain yogurt (whole milk or low-fat)
1 cup ice cubes
*Puree strawberries with sugar, cardamom, and a pinch of salt in a blend until smooth.
* Add yogurt and ice, then puree until smooth again.
Make your own Lassi
Lassi is a versatile drink which allows you to experiment with different flavours. Only the Yogurt, Sugar, water and ice are the base ingredients that stay the same. Don’t be afraid to make your own Lassi using a combination of Fruits or things you love. Use lemon zest for a Lemon Lassi, Try an Apple-mango Lassi, Chop up some nuts in your Lassi, Use a Vanilla pod or extract to make a Vanilla Lassi then you can add a Swirl of chocolate in it, Add a hint of nutmeg to it…use less water, freeze it and you have a frozen dessert- lassi ice cream!….the variations are endless so have fun and customize you Lassi!