We call this post “Sweet Lassi #1” for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are many different types of lassi- the default definition refers to the salted or savory type. Secondly, we love lassi and are determined to make as many types as possible this summer.
Lassi is essentially a frothy drink made from fermented milk curd (read: yogurt), water, sugar, and other ingredients, depending on the character desired. The simplest savory lassi may only include the addition of salt. Mint can be added, as well as spices such as cumin or saffron. Sweet lassis may contain fruit of some type, and more sugar (and/or less salt) than a savory lassi. Other ingredients can be added – butter for a creamy texture, chilies for heat. Pistachios may be sprinkled on sweet lassi, and there are even “therepeutic” government registered lassis sold in India during the Hindu festival Holi. For a laugh, check out our hero and man of the people Anthony Bourdain’s experience at one such stand in Rajasthan.
Our lassi today was a slapdash affair based on the fact that we got our hands on a free mango. Said mango was sliced and diced, and mixed in a blender with about 2 cups of yogurt, a dash of water, sugar, rosewater, and toasted ground cardamom. Most of the sweetness came from the mango, and it was a lovely and refreshing way to cool off in the Virginia heat. If you’d like more direction, see our recipe below:
1 ripe mango, diced
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar, more to taste
1 teaspoon rose water
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seed
In a dry pan, lightly toast the cardamom seeds over medium heat, until fragrant. Crush seeds with a mortar and pestle, and divide in two. Using a blender, mix mango, yogurt, water, rose water, sugar, and half of the cardamom. Blend on high until lassi is smooth and frothy. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with the remaining cardamom. Makes two tall servings.
PS- You can forgo the blender entirely and simply muddle and “pull” the lassi the old school way- which we actually highly recommend. To pull the drink means to repeatedly pour it between two vessels, from a height, until the desired consistency is achieved. It does not take as long as you would think, is quite fun, and will really attract lots of positive attention at parties. Try it!