When most people I know hear the word “lassi,” they think of mangoes. I don’t blame them. A glass of mango lassi, when it’s done with right, can be more refreshing than any fizzy soda or milkshake I know, with a tang to counterpoint the sweetness.
But travel across different regions in South Asia and you’ll find countless variations of lassi beyond the mango: infusions of cumin, cardamom, mint, saffron, black pepper, even hearty kicks of cannabis. (No, I'm afraid I've never had bhang lassi.) My Bengali family’s favorite way is to make a batchfull of lassi with Rooh Afza rose syrup mixed with unsweetened, plain, whole milk yogurt and a splash of sugar, serving it alongside some parathas with potatoes. The lassi defies seasonality, but I prefer to drink when the climate gets muggier, a way of staving off heat.
“There’s so much more to Indian beverages than tea and lassi,” Annada Rathi declared earlier this year in an article for us. She was right. But I can't help but feel there’s so much more to lassi, a drink that's quite simple to make, than some of us may know. Here are some of the recipes for lassi we’ve got.
How do you like your lassi? Let us know in the comments.