We'll be making a variant of the lassi
, a yogurt drink that originated in the Punjab Region that's nestled between India and Pakistan. Traditional lassi is simply blended yogurt, sometimes flavored with a bit of ground cumin and spices as well as occasionally sweetened. Lassis as a dessert beverage is coming more and more into fashion, with variants ranging from rosewater, lemon, to of course, mango. To make this South Asian drink, you'll simply need the following:
Star anise or anise seeds
There are no real proportions to this drink, as it's all to taste, but personally, I work with about 1 part milk to 4 parts yogurt for a richer, thicker -- more lassi-er -- taste. Take 2 cups of yogurt, 1/2 cup of milk, and one ripe mango, sliced and put them all into the blender. For the best flavor, I recommend Philippine Mangoes -- specially those from Guimaras
-- which are reputed to be the sweetest in the world. I add around a 1/4 cup of honey for my mango lassi, but you can do with less (or more) if you like. Blend everything until frothy. Toss in the star anise for aroma and chill before serving. This serves a 2v2 team.
You can also add a pinch of salt to the drink for a more traditional lassi, as well as some ground cardamom. Instead of star anise, which is purely for aroma, you can grind some anise seeds and blend it in for a stronger, spicier flavor. Because blending heats up the mixture, lassis tend to be warmer after preparation, so it helps to chill the lassi before serving. Alternately, you can blend it with some crushed ice to make it more of a smoothie and allow serving immediately.
Lassis are a healthy, delicious drink that's easy to prepare with ingredients easily found in your pantry or a neighborhood store. If you can't find the mango, there's Makhaniya Lassi
, which is simply yogurt and some globs of butter. Lassis enhance digestion and is often taken as part of an Ayurvedic (ancient Indian health medicine) meal. Good quality yogurt, the heart of lassis, have live bacterial cultures that may help you live longer and strengthen your immune system -- definitely one food buff that adds to our Resilience