My son is currently full of questions. Yesterday he asked what I liked to drink when I was little, because he loves to drink Lassi, especially mango lassi and strawberry lassi. Of course I told him about Yogi Sip! my childhood equivalent of lassi. The strawberry or granadilla flavoured yogurt drink in cartons were my absolute childhood favourite, along with Jungle Oats and Black Cat Peanut Butter. I loved the carton packaging and the graphics on this version – especially the boy at the top right hand corner, wide eyed and licking his lips…pretty much sums up my reaction to the tasty yogurt drink as a kid.
My siblings and I often bought yogi sip with our ‘spending money’, but it was most famous for being a treat for my granny (mother’s mother – Aya) Yogi Sip was one of the few treats she liked. While yogi sip invokes the fondest childhood memories, I am not sure of the origin of this yogurt drink. It is currently made under the brand name Danone, but started out as Clover in the early 80’s. I have often wondered about the origin of its name, if it referred to the drinkable yogurt consistency of the drink or was it inspired by the drink of Yogi’s – Lassi. If you know the answer let me know. I do not have a yogi sip recipe but often try to recreate that nostalgic taste by blending fruit, yogurt and milk to make Lassi.
What is Lassi
Traditional Lassi is made from blending milk,water, yogurt and salt. This is similar to Doogh, common in most Eurasian countries is often drank with food. The sweeter fruit variation of Lassi makes for a pleasant thirst quencher on hot summer days and is also a common accompaniment to spicy curries in Indian restaurants. The yogurt offsets the sharpness of spice and chilli.
Lassi simply involves blending yogurt, fruit and milk. I don’t add any sugar to my lassi and often use fresh fruit. This instance I am using frozen fruit mostly for convenience during this lockdown period. I use cardamom and a dash of rose water for added flavour. You can make almost any fruit or flavour combination, it is simply a matter of personal choice.
Dairy Free or Vegan Lassi
While lassi is predominantly made from dairy products you can use soya, almond or coconut milk and as a substitute for yogurt use soya yogurt or coconut cream.
Lassi Vs Milkshake
Lassi has a different taste and texture to milkshake. It is similar to a smoothie in texture. The yogurt in a lassi gives it it’s thick silky texture.
Easy Lassi Recipe
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1½ cups milk
- 1/ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- If using fresh fruit, wash and remove peel. Cut into small pieces. Place fruit in a blender.
- Add milk, yogurt and rose water.
- Add cardamom.
- Blend until a thick sauce like texture forms.
- Pour into a glass. Top with chopped pistachios or fresh mint. Enjoy!