Lassis have branched out. Moved on. Got bored and upgraded.
No longer is the Indian lassi menu limited to a choice of ‘sweet’, cumin-speckled ‘salty’ or ‘mango’. Travel the length and breadth of India today and you will find lassis of every kind, texture and flavour.
The version I’m most familiar with is a thin, spiced butter-milk called ‘chaas’ which is typical to Gujarat, in which leftover yoghurt or buttermilk (the liquid left from churning fresh butter) is mixed with black salt and cumin seeds. Some say it tastes like persecution, others like being woken up and licked by a salty wet dog. Granted, it is an acquired taste, one which I took 28 years to acquire myself but now, I love it.
More popular, the world over, are the lassis from the North of India. The best one I ever had was from Blue Lassi in Varanasi. It was made with yoghurt so thick you could stand a spoon up in it, churned and macerated with fresh seasonal fruit then blanketed with a cherubic layer of cream and baby green pistachios then presented in beautiful terracotta ‘kulhar’ (cup). It was the Clooney of lassi’s, the smoothest thing in town.
This avocado and honey lassi borrows from the latter. Creamy and rich from blended avocado flesh and yoghurt and brought to justice by a great team: honey, cinnamon and rosewater. Filling enough to have for breakfast or in an afternoon lull. Adjust as you wish, with low fat yoghurt for a healthier option if you must. (I am merely the messenger.)
Avocado and honey lassi with cinnamon
Makes 2 small glasses
- 1 avocado
- 300ml thick whole milk yoghurt
- 200ml semi skimmed milk
- 4 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
Halve your avocado and de-stone by wedging your knife blade into the centre of the stone and twisting clear of the flesh. Scoop out the flesh into a blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend. Taste. Adjust if you wish. Serve.