The ultimate summer cooler, lassi is a yogurt based creamy, indulgent drink that has its roots in Punjab, India. Call it the oldest smoothie recipe of the world, lassi is also available as a blend with fruits or fruit pulp. With delicious variations available in some of the best Indian restaurants in Berlin, one of the most popular versions is mango lassi. Lassi is also well known as the joy of Punjabi cuisine which is now enjoyed across India.
Dash of Cream
A dollop of cream is often added on top while serving lassi - sweet or salty. It is a generous topping of love adding richness to this cooling drink. Summers can be pretty hot as the temperatures soar in some parts of India to as high as 49 degree Celsius. Lassi adds energy, coolness and freshness to the drained or exhausted body. It is usually preferred during daytime rather than evenings.
Patiala Peg of Lassi
This is probably the largest served glass of lassi, popular in Northern India. It is like a gift in a tropical summer. So fulfilling, you might wish to take a good nap after completing one!
Types of Lassi
Salty lassi, Sweet lassi, Mango Lassi, Strawberry Lassi, Thandai Lassi (thandai is another refreshing drink made by adding almonds, rose petals, watermelon seeds, cardamom, saffron etc), Rose lassi, Spicy lassi, Savoury lassi.
The list is a long page of variations made across India. People have played around with a number of flavours to discover their personal favourite. No matter which one you try, you will surely feel blessed having this good ol’ drink.
The Origin of Lassi
In a common Indian household, Curd, Yogurt or Dahi is usually set from full cream milk in earthen pots overnight. It has been a custom in North India to churn this set ‘dahi’ with salt/sugar and some water to serve with lunch every day. This traditional lassi is served in tall glasses of brassware in Punjab.
Some Lassi Recipes to Try
Take half a cup of mango pulp or one medium ripe mango chopped. Add it to 150ml of curd/yogurt, 1 tbsp sugar, some ice cubes and whip it the blender for few seconds. Garnish it with mint leaves and add a dollop of fresh cream on top.
Take one cup of mint leaves (more if you love the flavour), 2.5 cups of full fat yogurt/curd, half a cup chilled water, 2-3 tbsp sugar (can be substituted with honey) and a dash of lemon juice. Mix in a blender until smooth. Garnish it with a pinch of cumin powder.
Classic salted lassi
Blend 2 cups yogurt, half cup water, salt to taste and some ice cubes till smooth. Serve it with a garnish of mint leaves or cumin powder.
Benefits of Lassi
· Is a cooling and refreshing drink, especially great when the temperature is high.
· Provides relief from the heat of the spices especially if you are trying Indian food for the first time.
· Yogurt is rich in probiotics, thus improving the gut health and digestion.
· Vitamin D and lactic acid contained in lassi improve immunity.
· Rich in calcium
· Good for skin
Great news is that some of the best Indian or south Indian restaurants in Berlin like ‘Dosa and more’ have lassi on their menu. With great options of food from biryani to dosas and pav bhaji, it’s a must add beverage to your meal. Relish the richness of this Indian yogurt smoothie.