Sweet Lassi, a refreshing Indian yogurt drink, calls for ingredients you likely already have at home, and it takes minutes to make.
There are many different versions of lassi out there (mango lassi being the most popular), but this plain sweet lassi right here is the OG (original). As long as you have yogurt, sugar, and water at home, you can make this simple and delicious drink.
What is Lassi?
If you’ve never heard of or tried lassi before, it’s a traditional north Indian yogurt drink. It’s a creamy, frothy, refreshing drink that’s great year-round, perfect for cooling your body on a hot day or cooling your mouth after eating a plate of spicy Indian food.
Sweet lassi, also known as meethi lassi, is sometimes flavored with rosewater or cardamom. Growing up, my family typically left out any “extras” when making plain sweet lassi, but I love the flavor of these two ingredients, so I typically add them in. I also have another Ashley addition, lol – a sugared rim – optional, but it makes the drink look a bit fancier, which is nice, especially if you’re serving guests.
How to make lassi:
I make it by adding the ingredients (yogurt, sugar, water) to a blender and blending. Easy.
My dad tells me that as a kid in India, he would first churn cream in a big pot using a large wooden whisk, called a madani. After whisking for a while, white butter would rise to the top, buttermilk would stay at the bottom. They’d make lassi with the buttermilk and then put a spoonful of the churned white butter on top of the lassi. They’d save the remaining butter to enjoy with roti.
If you (for some reason) prefer to make lassi in a more traditional way, you can always use a steel whisk to combine the ingredients, but I prefer the ease of blender – it makes the drink nice and frothy much faster than if you were to do it by hand.
This is a recipe where, if you make it once, you probably won’t need a recipe to make it again. Still, I find it helpful to share the basics for those who aren’t familiar with this drink or want to ensure they’re starting with the right ratios for a perfectly flavored lassi. After making it a couple of times, you’ll be able to adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your preference.
Ingredients to make Lassi:
You need very few ingredients to make lassi. As long as you’ve got yogurt, sugar, and water you can make this drink.
- Yogurt: I use regular plain whole milk yogurt when making lassi, but you can use Greek if you prefer – you may need to add more water to thin it out.
- Water: you can always adjust the amount of water in this recipe. I prefer a pourable consistency that’s smooth and easy to drink, however, if you want a thicker lassi, you can always use less water.
- Sugar: I prefer regular sugar, but feel free to play around with sweeteners if you’d like. I think sugar gives lassi the best flavor though.
- Rosewater: this is optional but adds a nice aroma and flavor to sweet lassi.
- Cardamom: also optional, but if you like cardamom, you’ll like the flavor it adds to lassi.
- Ice: if you’re going to drink the lassi right away, I suggest pouring it over ice cubes. Otherwise, you can chill the lassi in the fridge – lassi is meant to be enjoyed nice and cold. You can always add a few cubes to the blender if you’d like, but I prefer to serve it over ice.
You can also always top plain lassi with a pinch of ground cardamom or with sliced almonds, chopped pistachios, or saffron.
How to serve Lassi?
If you plan to serve this drink immediately, then pour the lassi over ice cubes. Otherwise, chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Lassi is meant to be enjoyed nice and cold.
Other Indian drinks to try:
- 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 cups cold water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- pinch ground cardamom
- Add the ingredients listed under sweet lassi to a blender and blend until smooth.
- To make the sugar rim: combine sugar and cardamom on a shallow plate. Moisten the rim of the glass with water, turn the glass upside down and dip it in the plate.
- Pour the lassi into the rimmed glasses and enjoy!
- If you plan to serve this drink immediately, then pour the lassi over ice cubes. Otherwise, chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Lassi is meant to be enjoyed nice and cold.