What’s a lassi, you say?
It’s the beverage that an Indian farmer will drink from an earthen pot on a hot sunny day as he cultivates his crop…It’s the beverage that young teenagers in India consume as they stand around at cafés chatting about this and that…And everyone knows it as the beverage served at Indian restaurants to complete an authentic Indian meal experience.
Lassi, which is essentially the predecessor to our modern day favorite ‘smoothie’, is one of the oldest Indian beverages, made with well-seasoned and churned fresh homemade yogurt. This worthy and refreshing beverage runs through the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent (especially in northern and western India.)
It’s worth noting that an authentic salted Indian lassi is made using just plain home-set yogurt and a strong seasoning like roasted crushed cumin and salt (or with added sugar as a sweet lassi.) All other variations are ‘modern day culinary innovations’; limited only by your imagination.
Below you will find our recipe for a Basic Mango Lassi (one of my personal favorites), followed by three amazing Indian-inspired flavor variations; which have been created through our imaginations as we swelter in the now 100 degree summer days of Texas. We hope these lassi inspire you to create some of your own versions…we’d like to hear about them.
The Basic Mango Lassi
2 cups diced mango, fresh or frozen
1 ¼ cup yogurt, any fat level you desire
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (based on sweetness of mango)
5-6 cubes of ice
Warm Spiced Mango Lassi
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ginger Mango Lassi
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Mint and Mango Lassi
8-9 chopped mint leaves
Blend the diced mango, yogurt, sugar and ice cubes together. This will give you the basic Mango Lassi. Now add the ingredients for the lassi version you desire. Blend well.
Served chilled topped with a sprig of mint or finely diced mango.
Now that’s refreshing…