Lassi is a delicious summertime beverage from Pakistan; and also popular in Bangladesh and India. The best description I can come up with is: “a cross between a milkshake and a smoothie”; a very healthy smoothie I may add.
According to my Pakistani friend Huma, it is a must at dinner time, to help the body beat the intense summer heat. Lassi is often prepared with mango not only for its health benefits, but also because mangoes are plentiful in this part of the world.
Lassi can be prepared with buttermilk or yogurt. Both possess great health benefits including natural probiotics which aid in digestion and keep the colon healthy! Who doesn’t want a healthy colon, right? Buttermilk and yogurt also contain lactic acid which contributes to a healthy immune system. According to my friend Huma, buttermilk is also said to calm the stomach after a spicy meal, common to that part of the world. In addition she told me that buttermilk is associated with longevity.
Lassi is sweetened with honey, a healthier alternative to refined white sugar. By the way, honey also possesses many health benefits. For starters, honey is an anti-bacterial; it has a low acidic pH which helps to destroy the bad bacteria. Local honey contains the allergens and pollens in your geographical area. By ingesting a little bit every day, it slowly exposes your body to the offending allergens. I use honey on my toast every morning during allergy season, it helps.
As a historical side note, honey was used by the ancient Egyptians in their dressing for wounds and also in the embalming process. In ancient Egypt honey was also used as an offering to the gods. The ancient Greeks believed that honey could make you live longer. The Hindu sacred texts (Vedas) make mention of honey as one of the five elixirs of immortality.
I asked Huma if there was a specific or special meaning to Lassi; she said “no, it’s just a word like coffee, tea or soda; it has no special meaning.” I guess given the ethnic and historical focus of this blog, I am always trying to search for word meanings and origins. Lassi is creamy, sweet and oh so healthy!! My husband gave his brother a glass to try and he loved it.
If you want to try another very traditional summer type drink then this Spanish horchata is another one to cool you off.
Lassi is a delicious summertime beverage from Pakistan; and also popular in Bangladesh and India. The best description I can come up with is: “a cross between a milkshake and a smoothie”; a very healthy smoothie I may add. Mango is a very popular ingredient for lassi as well as honey.
- 2 cups yogurt Buttermilk may also be used. Do not use greek yogurt, it is too thick.
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cup mango diced
- 1 cup water
- Place all ingredients in a blender and process for about 2 minutes.
- Serve chilled. You can decorate with a mint sprig if you want