History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Lassi is a yoghurt based drink that is popular among Desis for its incredibly refreshing taste. DESIblitz looks back at the history of lassi and its many delicious varieties.

History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Lassi can be referred to as an ‘ancient smoothie’

Lassi is the name given to a yoghurt based Indian Drink to cool the effect of hot summers.

It is originally from the lands of Punjab and Multan in India.

Yoghurt is blended with water; having additives like fruits, spices, jaggery or sweeteners. The major variants of Lassi are sweet or salted.

However, there are many new flavours introduced in this drink to give an amazing twist to the traditional yoghurt based drink.

It is a great refreshment that can be taken with breakfast or lunch.

Ancient Smoothie

Lassi can be referred to as an ‘ancient smoothie’ and indeed the first yoghurt smoothie in the world. The concept originated somewhere around 1000 BC and began either with fine fruits or pure spices.

It is well known for having Ayurvedic healing properties and gives a calming effect to the stomach and mind too.

Traditional Lassi in Punjab

Lassi can be made by adding water to yoghurt.

However, there is another way in which you can get the same.

When butter is churned out of cream, the leftover liquid is termed as Buttermilk, which is also a kind of Lassi. It is commonly known as ‘Chaati ki Lassi’.

History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a different variant of yoghurt and is also called ‘Chaas’ or ‘Chaach’. It is famous in Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

It is formed after removing butterfat and has thinner consistency than yoghurt-based Lassi.

Usually, people add roasted jeera (white cumin), salt and black pepper to make it more appealing to the taste buds.

Commonly, there are two different types of lassi, sweet and salty:

Plain Salted Lassi

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup Iced Cold Water,
  • ¼ Tsp Salt,
  • ½ Cup homemade or store bought Yoghurt,
  • 1 pinch Ground Cumin

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients and make a frothy mixture.
  2. Serve in glass and consume soon.

Plain Sugared Lassi

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup Iced Cold Water,
  • 2 Tsp Sugar,
  • ½ cup homemade or store bought Yoghurt

Method:

  1. Make a frothy mixture of all the ingredients on high speed blender and serve immediately.

The consistency of Lassi is thinner than yoghurt. It can be made with a blend of fruits, dry fruits and nuts.

History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Ready-To-Drink Lassi

It is no longer difficult to get ready-made Lassi. UK supermarkets and shops worldwide all offer great lassi drinks that you can try out.

The flavours and variants available are fascinating. They include, Sweet Lassi, Salty Lassi, Mango Lassi, Lychee Lassi, Guava Lassi and many more!

While yoghurt is generally good for you, there are also low fat variants available with high probiotic content that make this drink both healthy and delicious.

Generally, yoghurt is made with the concept of responsive cultures when milk is heated or butter churned. Yogurt produces its sour taste by cooking it inside giant vats for about six hours.

Companies use this process to create new varieties. There are sweeteners, chemicals, natural flavours and even cultures added to make the finest flavours of this silky yoghurt smoothie.

History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Very Popular Lassi Drinks

You can enjoy full liveliness of lassi and find modern tastes that indulge in this unconventional smoothie.

There are some lassi variations with actual fruit pieces included in them and they are becoming popular among people for their unsurpassed taste.

Here are some really popular Lassi variants that can be easily made at home:

  • Spicy Mint Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water, Fresh Mint Leaves, Spices and Salt
  • Strawberry Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water and Fresh Strawberry
  • Mango Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water and Fresh Mango (Concentrated Mango Flavour or Mango Powder)
  • Chocolate Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water and Chocolate Syrup
  • Three Ingredient Sweet Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water and Sugar
  • Orange Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water and Orange (Fresh or Syrup)
  • Papaya Lassi ~ made with a blend of Yoghurt, Water, Papaya and Honey (Optional)
  • Caramel Lassi ~ made with a blend  of Yoghurt, Water and Caramel

Try out this uniquely tasty Coconut and Lychee Lassi recipe from Good Food here.

History of Lassi the Yoghurt Drink

Health Benefits

Some health benefits of Lassi are as follows:

  • Lassi is completely protein rich and helps in gaining strength in muscles of the body.
  • It contains a lot of calcium, which is assistive in building strong bones and teeth.
  • Lassi helps in proper functioning of digestive system of the body. You can easily digest heavy food by consuming lassi with it.
  • Yoghurt is basically probiotic in nature and helps in developing healthy bacteria in the body. It even reduces bad bacteria in the stomach.
  • Lassi is an excellent drink to get energy in hot summers and even gives you a great after effect.
  • Lassi is known for lowering BP and cholesterol levels in the body.

Drinking cold and refreshing Lassi is a centuries old tradition for Desis. It is is not only great for your health, but tastes delicious too!

Sumedha is an IT professional, but her passion lies in writing real world articles. She is true Punjabi by nature and wants to do lots with her life. Her motto: "Miles to go before I sleep."

Image courtesy of Good Food



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