One of the most delicious and healthiest summer drinks ever, the traditional sweet lassi (Indian yogurt beverage) is really easy to make. This recipe has been flavored with cardamom and fresh mint leaves for a creamy, delightful drink.
Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind. Sometimes it is sunny and warm like spring in Texas is supposed to be. But just when I think it is time to put the heavy blankets away…bam! It’s cold again. Whenever I call mom back home, all she has to say is how hot and horrible it is there and they still have two official months of summer left. Ouch!
In our household, I am the only one who likes warm drinks. I can have coffee or a warm mug of chocolate milk any day. I am the crazy lady who gets a super hot latte even when it is 90 degrees outside. The guys would rather have juice and milkshakes even in the dead of winter.
But if there is one beverage we get equally excited about, it has to be lassi. Lassi is an Indian yogurt beverage which can be made either sweet or salty. Sweet lassi can be flavored with syrups and fruit purees as well. Mango lassi seems to be the most popular one. But the mango lassi sold at your local Indian restaurant is probably made with tinned mangoes and you can barely taste the goodness of yogurt. I make lassis all the time, sometimes plain, sometimes with fruit and our latest favorite is rose lassi. And that’s when I realized it is high time I shared this wonderful recipe with you.
I will begin by sharing a recipe for traditional sweet lassi which has been lightly sweetened and flavored with cardamom and mint. You will find cardamom in almost all lassi variants. Lassi and cardamom is like coffee and creamer. You cannot have it any other way. At least, I cannot.
My little mint plant is doing well, touch wood. Nothing beats the ease of plucking a few fresh mint leaves to add in salads, chutneys and lassi. If you buy good-quality fresh mint stalks, you can propagate it by simply placing the stalk in a glass of water. Once you see roots sprouting, transfer to a small pot and place it in a sunny spot.
Lassi is made by blending yogurt and water or milk, lightly sweetened and flavored with something like cardamom, mint, saffron, rose-water, etc. I typically use yogurt and milk in a 2:1 ratio. That way the lassi is neither too thick nor too thin and has the right amount of creaminess. Punjabi lassi is extremely popular which is richer and creamier and served with dollops of soft white butter or clotted cream on top. It is like a meal in itself. Yum!
Lassi is a great pick-me-up in the evenings, it can be had along with lunch or dinner or just about any time.
This cardamom and mint lassi is fresh and light, perfect for spring and summer.
- Yogurt - 4 cups, preferably chilled
- Milk - 2 cups, preferably chilled
- Sugar - 6-8 tbsp
- Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
- Mint leaves - 10-12 (add more for a pronounced mint flavor)
- Salt - a small pinch
- Ice cubes - 5-6, or as needed
- Blend all the ingredients together till smooth, creamy and frothy. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add more ice cubes if you like a thinner drink.
- Pour into large glasses. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and pinch of cardamom powder. Serve immediately.
- Lassi can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Lightly shake before serving.
2. To make rose flavored lassi, add 2 tsp of rose water. You can also replace part of the sugar with sweet rose syrup for rose-flavored pink lassi.
3. Add a few saffron strands to make kesar lassi.
And, that’s how easy it is to make delicious, creamy lassi. Enjoy!!
Once you have the basic recipe, feel free to experiment with other flavors while making lassi.
Find a recipe for mango-peach lassi here.
Do you like lassi? What is your favorite kind? I prefer the plain sweet lassi, but Boy absolutely loves mango lassi.
Do try this sweet lassi recipe this summer. Stay healthy, stay cool!
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