The quintessential Punjabi drink, lassi is a staple beverage of this part of the Indian sub-continent.
“Kithe ne assan de lassi te paranthe?”, (where are my parathas and lassi) comes the loud call from my father on a Sunday morning. Although my parents and I were born and brought up in Delhi, the Punjabi-ness keeps crawling in every once in a while. This could be a relatable experience for all the Punjabis in the house. Even if you aren’t one, you must have definitely seen those huge glasses of a frothy drink being served to guests and family members in a Bollywood movie set in that region. Apart from large fields of sugarcane (ganne ke khet) and makki ki roti and sarson ka saag, if there is anything that fits the bill for the description of Punjab, it has to be lassi.
Generally consumed in sweltering summers, lassi, for the unversed, is a thick, milk-based beverage that can be sweet and salty. Made from churned milk, the creamy and frothy texture of the drink garners a huge fan fare in and around the region. Not only is it a filling and nutritious drink, it also acts as a great refresher in the hot summer months, providing respite to the farmers toiling hard under the sun all day long.
Dated around 1,000 BC, lassi has been a first-born Indian drink without any foreign influences. The actual birth of the drink took place on the trade route between Punjab and Multan, however, Mesopotamians are believed to have been consuming yoghurt since 5,000 BC. Not just that, the whisked curd and honey combination held religious significance, being offered to gods. Whoever invented the lassi, we definitely have to thank them for that but till then, why not try something new?
Move beyond your regular glass of boring lassi. Add some lip-smacking flavours and give it a delicious makeover.
1. Gulkand Lassi
With the fresh and tantalising aroma of rose petals, this gulkand lassi could become your next favourite thing. The rose petals are preserved and sweetened, to be used as a flavouring agent in a variety of edible things. From dishes to drinks, gulkand is used in plenty of areas.
2. Mango Lassi
Don’t we all want to just hoard mangoes as soon as summers arrive? While you enjoy a thick mango shake, it can also enhance your glass of lassi too. The mango and yoghurt combination works pretty well on the taste buds.
3. Red Papaya
Translate the fruitiness of the red papaya into your glass of lassi with this easy recipe. The crushed papaya blends well with the yoghurt and the use of fresh mint leaves gives it a refreshing aroma and taste.
4. Strawberry Lassi
Replicate the pink, rose colour in your lassi by adding some strawberries to it. This beautiful lassi is absolutely delicious in taste too. Strawberries, along with cream, yoghurt and rose water take the flavours a notch higher.