Home Sweet Home (And Lassi)

Lassi, PL Card, and Graham Crackers

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I am just back from India and what am I thinking about? I am almost embarrassed to admit that I am pinning away for something other than the kids of Sri Ram Ashram. But don’t worry, there is no danger of them losing their number one ranking on the “Reasons Natalie Travels 8K Miles to India Every Year” list. Their cute little faces and smiles and kisses will keep me coming back for more, and come on, you can’t travel eight thousand miles for a lassi, right? Right?!?!




Perfect Texture

A lassi is a yogurt drink sweetened with either honey, sugar and/or fruit. Traditional lassi is flavored with rose-water and salted lassi is also popular; the salt helps to combat the heat and restore nutrients lost from sweating. It was heat that drove me to obsession with lassi in the first place. With the monsoon season humidity lingering (yet we had painfully little rain) and daytime temperatures around 93º F, my travel compadre Andrea and I decided to combat the heat by heading into Haridwar proper as often as possible to good old World Fame Prakash Lok (PL) to buy sweet, cold lassi. PL keeps it simple – homemade yogurt and [filtered] water are whipped to perfection and then put in a fridge to chill. It is humbly served in a metal cup with a wooden, disposable spoon. The first thing you do is eat off the fluffy, creamy top. It’s like the best-whipped cream/frozen yogurt you’ve ever had in your life and the taste is bright on my tongue. Once the top gone, the remainder of the cup is filled with a sweet, smoothie-like drink that is the essence of refreshing and just what you need to recharge. We sat in the plastic chairs lining the counter at PL  greedily scooping up and slurping our lassi perfection while the chaos of Moti Bizarre moves and shakes around us – men on motor bikes zoomed past women haggling over the price of vegetables while the Ganga churned and gurgled in the background. And then, totally refreshed, we headed back to the jungle, where little faces waited for us. Enjoy!

Simi and Me

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Indian Lassi, Three Ways 

Most Indians will use homemade yogurt for their, even shops like Prakash Lok. I am working on a yogurt method, but it’s not quite ready yet and I wanted to get this post out before the lassi season is almost over. I promise the yogurt recipe is coming soon. In the meantime, you can use any plain yogurt here that you like, but I would stay away from greek yogurt, as it’s just too thick for this recipe (I never thought I would utter those words – sorry Fage!).

Traditional Rose-Water Lassi 

Makes 1 serving

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup cold water

2 tsp. sweetener such as honey, agave syrup, or simple syrup (I used raw honey)

1 tsp. rose-water

1/8 tsp. ground cardamom

Orange Lassi 

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp. orange juice

2 tsp. sweetener such as honey, agave syrup, or simple syrup (I used raw honey)

1/4 tsp. orange zest 

Salted Lassi 

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup cold water

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, to your liking

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. dried mint, to you liking

Combine all ingredients in a glass big enough to hold twice its contents. Using an immersion blender or electric whisk (like a milk frother) whip until all ingredients are combined and the yogurt is frothy. Pour into a glass just big enough for the contents of your lassi. You can serve immediately, or you can chill 3 hours for the creamy, whipped cream top mentioned above. 


3 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home (And Lassi)

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