On a hot summer day, people in India like to slow down, relax on their porch swing, and stay cool by enjoying a refreshing glass of lassi. Lassi is fresh homemade yogurt and water blended together.
According to Ayurveda, cold yogurt alone can be heavy on the body and clog channels. However diluting it with water and adding cooking spices makes it very easy to digest. The fast blending action aerates the frothy drink and adds agni (fire) to the yogurt, lightening its qualities.
Lassi is beneficial after meals as a digestive aid. The Lassi is also full of acidophilus and helps to replenish the friendly intestinal bacteria.
1/3 parts fresh plain yogurt to 2/3 parts water is a good ratio, though it can be made a thicker or thinner consistency according to taste. Lassi can be made sweet or savory by adding herbs and spices. Below are some traditional Lassi ingredients for different doshas:
Vata – roasted cumin seeds and pinch of salt
Pitta –a drop or two of rosewater, a teaspoon of natural sweetener like Sucanat, and a few strands of saffron.
Kapha – ginger (freshly grated or dry powder), black pepper, and a pinch of ground cardamom
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Garnish with cooling cilantro or mint leaves and enjoy!
**Note: Though the popular and very tasty “Mango Lassi” is served at most Indian restaurants, Ayurveda says that fruit and yogurt are incompatible food items. Therefore, drink them in moderation.
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