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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lassi on the Rocks

Between me and lassi there is a love story! 

The first time I had lassi was in the Indian restaurant in Ramada Continental Hotel in Jeddah. 
The restaurant is open-space, the food and the service are both excellent, and the Indian staff is friendly and attentive.
One evening, the waiter offered me a drink on the house. It was a glass of lassi with honey and almonds
So, I fell in love with it and when I came back home, I decided to make lassi as well. The wonderful thing about lassi is that it is so versatile and you can play with a variety of fruit, vegetables and spices. 

According to Wikipedia, "lassi (Punjabi: ਲੱਸੀ, Hindi: लस्सी, Urduلسی,) is a popular and traditional Punjabi yogurt-based drink of India and Pakistan. It is made by blending yogurt with water or milk and Indian spices.Traditional lassi is a savory drink sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin while sweet lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices. [...] With a little turmeric powder mixed in, it is also used as a folk remedy for gastroenteritis". 

Savoury lassi is the actually the first entry to this blog.

Yoghurt with cumin seeds, mint, salt and lime juice
It goes so well with freshly baked bread: French baguette, pita, tamis, or naan bread.

Summery "Fru Fru" Lassi

Yoghurt with honey and blackberries.

I made this lassi in July when I went to the farmers' market and bought fresh blackberries. 
Since now it's cold and winter and fresh forest fruit are not readily available, you could give it a shot and try buying them frozen from the supermarket. 

"I don't give a fig" Lassi

Actually, how nonsensical this saying is! It doesn't do justice to figs. I love figs. These wonderful delicate fruit, slightly sweet and full of calcium and vitamin K, remind me of the Bible.

"Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, be queen over us.’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Must I give up my sweetness and my good produce, and must I go to wave over the other trees?" Judges 9/10, 11.

Yoghurt with figs, banana, cinnamon, orange blossom water.

"Honey, I'm home" Lassi is another favourite of mine. 

Yoghurt with honey, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg. I usually have it early in the morning with a handful of cereals or oatmeal to replace a big breakfast.

There are so many ways of making lassi. One could use walnuts, pistachios, almonds, mango, peaches, mint, papaya, strawberries, raspberries, cardamom, saffron, cucumber, chives, avocado, crushed ice, you name it. Be creative. Try out your own version. However, as I learned from trial and error, lassi doesn't blend well with citrus fruit, kiwi or pomegranate. 

Lassi is very easy to make and, basically,  all you need is a vertical blender and the ingredients of your choice.

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