Lassi, Three Ways

Contributed by Chef Tony Walsh

As with anything you put in your body for nourishment, it is of utmost importance that it is as fresh as possible. The best foods include simple ingredients that allow the star feature to shine. Fresh fruit, yogurt, and unprocessed, unbleached sugars are ingredients which your body processes easily and deliver tremendous nutritional benefits for your GI tract.  Lassi (pronounced lus-see) is a traditional yogurt drink popular in India. It is similar to a milkshake or smoothie and is often consumed as a refreshment or even at the end of a meal. Lassis have a multitude of health benefits. They are good for your immune system since they are rich in Vitamin D and lactic acid. The high calcium content aids in bone health. They are also very beneficial to your digestive health, since it is yogurt based and therefore rich in probiotics, which helps support bacterial balance in your digestive system. Yes, lassis are very refreshing in the summer, but can be enjoyed all year long, even during the holidays as a festive virgin cocktail with vibrant colors that bring out the holiday happy!

Mango Lassi

Ingredients:

For the Fruit Marinade

  • 1 cup OJ
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Simple Syrup

  • Hot water
  • Brown sugar

For the Lassi

  • 1 cup mango slices
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1tbsp brown sugar simple syrup

Directions:

  1. Make the simple syrup quite simply!  Mix a 1:1 ratio of sugar and hot water mixed together until all the sugar crystals are dissolved. This will keep refrigerated for months. Any sugar will work, and traditionally it is white sugar, but for this recipe I prefer brown sugar.
  2. Mix the fruit marinade ingredients together until well dissolved. Add slices of mango and pomegranate seeds to it and marinade in fridge for 4-24hrs, then set aside 2 slices of mango and the pomegranate seeds for garnish.
  3. Add the remainder of the marinaded mango, plus banana and simple syrup to a blender and blend down. Then add the yogurt and blend until smooth.  If needed, add a little low fat milk or coconut milk for desired consistency.
  4. Garnish with the marinaded pomegranate and two mango slices.
Black and Blue Lassi

Ingredients

For the Fruit Marinade

  • 1 cup OJ
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Lassi

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 banana
  • 10 pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup yogurt

Directions:

  1. Marinade berries and pomegranate seeds in fruit marinade recipe above for 4-24 hours
  2. Slice 3-5 slices of Banana and reserve that, the marinaded pomegranate seeds, 3-5 of the blueberries and one blackberry for garnish.
  3. Blend remainder of the fruit and simple syrup. Then add yogurt and blend until smooth for a consistent look. .  If needed, add a little low fat milk or coconut milk for desired consistency and if you prefer a less thick Lassi.
  4. Garnish with the marinaded pomegranate and reserved berries.

Sweet Spiced Lassi

Ingredients

 For the Simple Syrup

  • Hot water
  • Brown sugar

 For the Lassi

  • 1 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp toasted ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp toasted star of anise
  • I tbsp simple syrup
  • Rose petals for garnish

Directions:

Make the simple syrup quite simply!  Mix a 1:1 ratio of sugar and hot water mixed together, until all the sugar crystals are dissolved. This will keep refrigerated for months. Any sugar will work, and traditionally it is white sugar, but for this recipe I prefer brown sugar.

In a blender, add the yogurt, rose water, spices, and simple syrup. Blend well until smooth for a consistent look. If needed, add a little lowfat milk or coconut milk for desired consistency and if you prefer a less thick Lassi.

Pour into a wide-rimmed glass and garnish with rose petals.


Chef Tony Walsh grew up in his Italian and country grandmothers’ kitchens so it is no wonder that his lifetime love of cooking landed him in a position to feed people. Over 27 years in the restaurant industry at establishments like Pete and Sam’s Italian Restaurant and Restaurant Iris in Memphis under Chef Kelly English and Chef Cameron Razavi and becoming the owner/head chef of Yum Yum Road Catering doing everything from in home gatherings to the 520 plated Courage Thru Cancer event have given him experience in every aspect of the restaurant/food industry. 25 years of playing Latin Percussion (recording industry over 12 albums and playing over 1000 live shows), traveling extensively (49 states, 35 countries) and currently establishing a multifaceted 120 acre farm in southern Oregon with bee hives, a fruit grove (Figs, Plums, Apples, Cherries, Blueberries, etc) and tapping Maples for fresh syrup are all contributing factors to the diverse culinary and health conscious ideas that are shaping his current direction. Developing and opening a Kolkata Street food inspired restaurant in Tampa slayed for the spring of 2021 and a Memphis style Bbq restaurant (Q901) and Soul: a Diner featuring southern, soul and creole dishes are in development for his new home in southern Oregon.

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