Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lassi is More

Today was the first day that I looked out my window and the trees were actually budding green leaves… ALL of them, spontaneously. One day, the trees are bare, the next, they’re green. Mother Nature is a funny old lady, I tell you, but at least she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve.

To celebrate the good weather I took to the streets for several hours and while walking home, I realized I was damn hungry but couldn’t get the courage to cook anything, or even, heaven forbid, put forth the effort to chop some veggies and make a salad. I may love eating but sometimes my laziness + a hot day = me not cooking and scrounging for any food stuffs that I can pretend equals a meal.

Then it hit me. The only thing I ever really want when it’s warm and I just need to cool off from the inside out: I wanted lassi.

First things first. Let’s learn how to say this word. You definitely do not pronounce it like that famous dog of bravely epic proportions, “Lassie.” You pronounce it like “Luss-y” for mysterious reasons that I’m unaware of, but thems the facts, folks. Just accept it.

Lassi, that classical Indian yogurt mixture, is literally the drink of my childhood, adolescence, and adult life in Arizona. Since it was almost always hot, my mom or G-ma prepared it often and served it in tall iced-tea glasses with flecks of ice glinting in the sun. I kid you not, this is a magical drink and you will laugh with glee at how easy it is. Here I am sitting an hour and a half after I downed a glass, and I’m STILL cooled off, and my belly is content and things are just pretty copasetic right now.

From new year, new food

You take yogurt (I use low-fat, but go for the whole milk yogurt if you want to as well. I tend to avoid fat-free dairy products…hello! It’s weird!) You dump about a cup and a half of yogurt into a blender, a solid handful of ice, a splash of either milk or water and a few tablespoons of sugar (to your liking). You blend the whole thing up until it’s frothy but with a few crunchie ice pieces still floating around…and then… you pour it and drink it. It’s pretty amazing, you know. When you feel like getting fancy with the flavors, add some mango nectar (or chunks of very ripe peeled mangoes) and blend it up too. I’ve read that other traditional Indian lassis use spices and are salty, but in my family it’s always been the simple yogurt, ice, sugar mixture and truly it’s a drink of beauty. It curbs hunger, satisfies a slight sweet tooth, and cools you off completely. Trust Indians don't mess around when it comes to yogurt.

From new year, new food

( is lassi looking out the window to the poor sweaty people below.)

For those of you who are keen on the new “natural frozen yogurt” by the likes of Tangysweet here in D.C., lassi tastes almost exactly like the “Classic” flavor of that yogurt…except in smoothie-riffic form, and is cheaper since you can make it at home. Sometimes, less is more. Or, in this case… lassi is more. Ha! Mother Nature might have a few tricks up her sleeve, but I have my own with lassi and it’s heat-defeating capabilities. I think that’s a pretty good start.

Oh! And I haven't forgotten about getting more vegetables on this site, but I just couldn't bring myself to write about braised cabbage when it was 90 degrees out. I'll work on it, I promise.


DC said...

record this withing 90 seconds of you posting this! do i get a lassi for this???:))...i'm working on pronoucing it many new names this week!

Tanglewood said...

oh man, i had a mango lassi recently that was excellent, a salty one that was mind-blowingly odd, and a rose one that sort of felt like eating flowers. the regular ones are still my fave!

pasty mook said...

my favorite part is when the lassi turned into your little pet peeking out the window. i'm a fan of adding lots of fruit to these kinds of things, and i want to try it out! ...but it's been raining in bklyn for the last week (and will rain another week more), so the time is not right yet...

Erin Skinner said...

I'm obsessed with the lassi at Teaism. I think Roni was the first person to open me up to them there and now I adore their banana option. Have you had it?