Recipe For Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink)


Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink. I often make it at home, but I’ve never quite been able to recreate the subtle tanginess of the drink. That is, until now. On our last trip to the local Indian restaurant, I asked the waitress about their preparation techniques, and she told me that they always add Bulgarian cultured buttermilk when making plain lassi. After that lunch, I stopped at the local Middle Eastern store, picked up a carton of buttermilk, and adjusted my recipe to her specifications. I’ve been making it this way ever since.

I use traditional Indian flavorings in my lassi, specifically elaichi (”cardamom” in Urdu) and rose water. My mother-in-law isn’t a huge fan of rose flavoring, so I only added ¼ teaspoon of rose extract. You can add as much or as little as you’d like.

1. Info for Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink)

  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 286kcal

2. Ingredients for Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink)

  • ½ cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar), to taste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1/3 cup milk, chilled
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon rose water (optional), to taste

3. Directions:

  1. Making simple syrup: In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in water. Bring to a near boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely.
  2. Extracting the cardamom seeds: Using a mortar and pestle. Pound the pods several times and the pod will release its seeds. Pick out the shells and discard them. Grind the cardamom seeds into a fine powder. Crush all the nits and gather about 1 teaspoon.
  3. Assembly time: Combine the yogurt, buttermilk, milk, simple syrup, crushed cardamom, salt and crushed ice in a blender. Blend all the ingredients for about 2 minutes. While the mixture is blending, add the rose extract (if used). The consistency of the lassi should be smooth and frothy.
  4. Pour into 4 glasses. Stir well; some cardamom powder minght sink to the bottom of the glass.
  5. Serve chilled.
  6. Enjoy!

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