Strawberry lassi is a yogurt based Indian beverage with sweet strawberries and a hint of cardamom. With summer at our doorstep, this is a perfect drink to cool us down with none of the sugary overdose found in ready made beverages.
Who has not heard of lassi, the Indian, in particular Punjabi yogurt based shake. Traditional lassis are mostly salty either with coriander or mint, and sometimes both, along with some regular table salt or even rock salt.
Sweet lassis have become popular with varieties of fruits blended into plain, thick sweet yogurt to make mango lassi, peach lassi etc. and sometimes coffee flavored cappuccino lassi too (hmm, need to make that one soon)!!
With these hot pre-summer days and strawberries still available in some stores, I decided to treat ourselves to a strawberry yogurt lassi before all the strawberries disappear from grocery shelves! To raise the flavor a notch, I dumped a little freshly ground cardamom powder (which is totally optional) into the thick yogurt.
Strawberries in India are not as sweet as the ones you find outside. So, I had to add some honey to sweeten it up.
During my trips abroad, you would find me popping fresh strawberries into my mouth throughout the day as a snack or as an after dinner dessert!
I still remember our Denver days, when a new grocery store called Cubs had opened up near our house. On one of our first visits there, we stumbled upon a huge mound of fresh, deep dark red strawberries in one end of the store. This was in the 80s! We could find everyone stocking up on these berry wonders to make jams, preserves, strawberry shortcakes and other desserts!
Not being confident about its taste, we bought just a small box of strawberries. Back home with the rest of the grocery, I rushed to wash them and have a taste of it. We were blown away by the sweet, sugary taste of these fresh strawberries and the small carton was empty in no time! Back to the store we went to get a few more boxes! I still cannot forget the sight of the huge mound of fresh, red strawberries and have never ever found a sweeter batch of strawberries after that!
Now enough of that! Let us get back to this easy peasy recipe shall we? Before strawberries are all gone from nearby grocery, you can make your own strawberry yogurt lassi at home with just a couple of ingredients, yogurt and strawberries. If you find the strawberries not too sweet, add a few tablespoons of honey or sugar. Add ice cubes for an instant cold lassi or if you have frozen strawberries, you can omit these too.
I have added some milk to dilute the lassi; I detest lassis or even for that matter milkshakes that are so thick, it refuses to go up a straw! Instead of milk, you can dilute with plain water too. A dash of cardamom powder or just vanilla or even rose essence, and creamy, smooth strawberry lassi is ready!
So, the next time you have strawberries in your refrigerator and need something cool, tasty and healthy to drink, whip up strawberry flavored Punjabi lassi. You will love it!
- 1 cup yogurt, chilled
- ½ cup milk
- 4 to 6 tablespoons honey or cane sugar (depending upon sweetness of strawberries)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 4 to 5 strawberries
- Fresh mint leaves
- Ice cubes, a few (optional)
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender till smooth and frothy.
- Add more milk or water to adjust to the consistency you like.
- Pour into tall glasses, garnish with mint leaves and slices of strawberries.
- Serve immediately.
Use fresh yogurt. It should be sweet and not sour. Instead of cardamom powder, you can use a few drops of vanilla essence/extract or even rose essence. For a fresher minty flavored taste, you can blend a few mint leaves along with the yogurt.
For more Punjabi recipes, try:
and many more!!!
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