Basic Lassi with Variations

Photo of a Basic Lassi against a grey background.

The lassi is a classic non-alcoholic drink that is much more than a mocktail. It is perfectly paired with Indian food. And, it stands on its own as a delicious beverage any time of day. The basic lassi is surprisingly easy to make. They drink it ice cold in India. So, it is perfect for the warmer months.

We are familiar with mango lassis served at Indian restaurants around the Bay Area. But, did you know that this is just one of many variations that occur across India? We are posting a recipe for a basic lassi and also seven yummy variations that include papaya, banana, mint, and chai spice.

Basic Lassi Recipe
Yields 2 servings

Lassi is a simple yogurt-based beverage that’s very popular in Indian cuisine. And, we mean really simple. It consists of yogurt, water, and typically some spices and or fruit.

1-1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup water
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until they are well incorporated. Your lassi should be about the thickness of pancake batter.

Lassi Variations
Roast the cumin seeds and grind them in a spice (or coffee) mill. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin while the blender is running. This goes really well with Indian food, and you can serve it at the same time as the rest of the Indian feast you’ve made.

Add 2-3 thin ginger slices, 2 slices of Serrano chili, and 1/8 cup chopped cilantro blended in. Squeeze some lime juice or lemon juice in at the end.

Add I cup of fresh ripe mango cubes and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom. You can also add a few saffron strands for both color and floral notes.

This is pretty much the recipe for Mango Lassi substituting papaya for mango—1 cup fresh ripe papaya chunks and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.

Add 1 banana. Ground cardamom is delicious with bananas.

Add a sprig of fresh mint leaves while it is blending.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of a chai masala blend.

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