Lassi is a thick yogurt drink very popular in India and neighbouring countries. It is often consumed as a refreshment and even at the end of a meal. Traditionally lassi was made using a wooden churner or whisk known as mathani. In the modern times, most people use a steel whisk or blender.
Traditionally lassi was a savoury drink made with fresh set curd and salt. As cumin or jeera is a cooling spice, a small quantity of it is roasted, powdered & used. This enhances the digestive and cooling properties of the lassi.
To make lassi, most people use homemade curd. It tastes best when made with fresh set curd and not sour one. If you are new to kitchen basics, then you can check this post on How to make curd at home.
Lassi gets the best texture by whisking curd and not by blending. You can use a handheld whisk, milk frother, a electric mixing rod or even a fork.
There are other popular variations like rose, sweet, Mango lassi and many more. One can find very unusual varieties of it on restaurant menus.
Most restaurants serve North Indian thali with a salted or sweet lassi or chaas. I am sharing 3 varieties of lassi in this post.
Tips to make lassi
- Avoid using sour yogurt and preferably use homemade curd.
- Use full fat curd to make a thick, tasty & creamy lassie.
- Lassi is usually thicker than chaas or the Indian buttermilk. So add chilled water only as needed to bring the yogurt to consistency.
- For a low fat version, use low fat yogurt but it does not yield the real taste of lassi.
- Adding mint leaves, jeera powder, lemon juice & salt to your lassi helps to beat the summer heat.
- I do not add milk to my lassi instead prefer to use fresh curd. Usually milk is used to reduce the sourness from the curd and bring in a creamy flavor.
Here are some fruit lassi varieties I have tried
1.Add 1 cup cubed ripe mangoes, along with 3 tbsps sugar, ¼ tsp cardamom powder, ¾ cup yogurt and ¾ cup water to a blender jar. Blend until smooth to have a delicious mango lassi. You can check the detailed recipe of mango lassi here.
2. Blend together 2 tbsps rose syrup with 1 cup yogurt, 2 tbsps sugar & half cup water to have a delicious rose lassi.
3. Add 1 cup strawberries to a blender along with 2 tbsps sugar, 1 cup yogurt & half cup water. Blend until smooth & frothy to make strawberry lassi.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups curd or yogurt
- 1 cup water (adjust as desired)
For sweet lassie
- 3 tbsps sugar
- ¼ to ½ tsp cardamom powder or elaichi powder
- 1 tsp rose water optional
- pinch saffron strands or kesar optional
- 1 tbsp chopped nuts (for garnish, optional)
For salted lassi recipe
- ½ tsp roasted cumin powder or roasted jeera powder
- ¼ tsp salt (use as needed)
- 2 pinches chaat masala (optional)
For mint lassi recipe
- ½ to ¾ cup mint or pudina (use as needed)
- ½ tsp cumin powder or roasted jeera powder
- 2 tbsps lemon juice (use as needed)
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt (or as needed)
- ¼ green chili deseeded (optional)
How to make the recipe
- Chill the curd or yogurt and water.
- Add curd to a large bowl. Whisk it well to break up lumps & make it smooth.
To make sweet lassi
- If you do not have cardamom powder, then add few cardamoms to a spice jar and powder them. To make a fine powder quickly you can also add few tbsp of sugar and powder them.
- Add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron to the smooth yogurt.
- Whisk well. Pour water and whisk until frothy. Transfer to serving glasses and garnish with chopped nuts.
To make salt lassi
- If you do not have cumin or jeera powder, just dry roast cumin on a low flame until aromatic. Cool and make a fine powder in a spice jar.
- Add salt and cumin powder to the whisked yogurt. Whisk and pour water. Whisk again until frothy.
To make mint lassi
- Pour curd, water, salt, sugar, mint leaves, lemon juice and chili to a blender.
- Blend lassi until frothy. Pour to serving glasses.
- Lassi is best served chilled.
How to make lassi
1. Add chilled curd to a bowl. Do note that using sour curd may need addition of milk and more sugar. I do not prefer the combination of curd and milk together. So I ensure to use fresh curd.
2. Whisk it well until smooth.
3. Next add sugar, saffron or rosewater.
4. Add cardamom powder. I powdered cardamoms with little sugar.
5. Whisk everything well.
6. Add water or whey. Adjust water as desired. If you are not serving it right away then you can also use boiled and cooled milk.
You can garnish with any of these – saffron, chopped nuts or cardamom powder.
Making salted lassi
1. On a low heat, dry roast jeera or cumin until it smells good.
2. Cool and powder this in a spice jar.
3. Whisk the chilled curd in a bowl or jug.
4. Add salt and cumin powder. Whisk everything well.
5. Pour water and whisk again.
Making mint lassi
Among all the varieties, this is one of the best during summers. Fresh mint keeps the body cool and stimulates the digestion. Consuming this after a heavy meal helps in digestion. Lemon juice is another key ingredient in this, do not skip it.
1. Chill the curd well and transfer to a blender jar.
2. Pour chilled water.
3. Add sugar to suit your taste. I do not make it too sweet.
4. Next salt too add to suit your taste.
5. Clean pudina leaves and wash them well in a pot of water. Drain and add them here. I also use a tiny bit of chilli just for mild heat. Squeeze in lemon juice.
6. Blend until frothy and smooth.
Pour it to serving glasses.