One of the most memorable aspects of summers in India is sipping on creamy, chilled lassi or thick sweetened buttermilk. The beverage is like an elixir of life after a day out in the Sun- it can refresh you instantly and bring your energy levels back up in a jiffy. The beverage is made from curd, which most Indians make at home by fermenting full-fat cow or buffalo milk. This sweet and creamy dahi or curd is then used to make chhas (spiced, savoury buttermilk) as well as lassi. Both salty and sweet varieties of buttermilk are extremely popular in India. While the former is diluted with water, the latter is fattened with fresh homemade butter, a large dollop of which is usually dumped in each individual glass of the drink.
Lassihas a separate fan base that is spread across the Indian subcontinent, and that prefers their cold summer drink to be cloyingly sweet and spiked with aromatic spices like cardamom and saffron. In summers, you will find small shacks and thelas selling lassi in earthen glasses and cups or kulhads, to thirsty commuters and passersby, who can’t wait to have life breathed back into them by this luscious drink. We can write a lengthy ode to lassi, but that’s not what we’re going to be doing now. We’re going to talk about the most popular fruit version of lassi- mango lassi- and introduce you to other delicious versions that you can make at home.
Mango lassi is prepared by blending mango puree with the thick curd base and then adding the spices and sugar, per usual.
1. Orange Lassi
This vitamin C-rich fruit has a strong citrusy flavour that is loved by all. Orange lassi can be prepared by pureeing sweet oranges and then blending it with thick curd, sweetener and spices. This drink can be prepared by using the leftover oranges that may have turned out to be too sour for your taste.
2. Litchi Lassi
This Asian fruit is widely available in India during summers. Litchi also has a sweet aroma and a refreshing taste that can be added to your favourite yogurt drink.
3. Strawberry Lassi
One of the most popular berries around, strawberry has been a good companion to milk and yogurt. While making lassi, you can also toss in a few freshly chopped, sweet strawberries in the blender, to give yourself an antioxidant boost and get the taste of a delicious blend of flavours. Here’s a strawberry lassi recipe you’ll love.
4. Banana Lassi
One of the most dependable fruits out there, banana is fortified with potassium and natural sugars that can be a great addition to your lassi. Although lassi is creamy enough on its own, but bananas can eliminate the need for you to put excessive sugar and make it thicker and more nutritious. Here’s a banana walnut lassi recipe you’ll love!
5. Pomegranate Lassi
Pomegranate seeds are often added to curd dishes like raita, dahi bhalla etc. You can add pomegranate juice to your lassi as well, to give it a unique, fruity twist.
6. Jamun Lassi
This salt-of-the-earth summer fruit is a favourite of Indians during summers and can be added to a range of desserts like tarts, pastries and yogurt parfaits. It goes wonderfully well in a glass of lassi as well, giving it a beautiful purplish tinge.