It's not officially summer quite yet, but the recent temperatures here in New York say otherwise. I decided to take advantage of the early days of strawberry season and cool off with an icy strawberry lassi.
A lassi is a traditional Punjabi drink made with yogurt. The most traditional forms are salty, rather than sweet, and are believed to aid digestion. Sweet lassis often feature mango, sometimes with rosewater. Instead, I whipped up this light and refreshing strawberry lassi to provide some relief on these hot pre-summer days.
For us in NYC, strawberries are in abundance at the Greenmarket, and we can't get enough of them. So I plopped a pound of strawberries in the blender, along with some organic plain Greek-style yogurt, and a few ice cubes. After a quick whirl, I poured it slowly into a tall glass, then sprinkled it with just a touch of cardamom.
My strawberries were sweet enough that I didn't need any additional sugar or honey, but feel free to add some if you need to. You can also make this lassi with frozen berries; if you do, omit the ice cubes.
While I've had more mango lassis over the years than I can remember, I never thought to make this drink with strawberries. And now having whipped up Nina's recipe, I'm not quite sure how I overlooked this combination for so long. It's cool and refreshing, and the combination of flavors make it more interesting than a regular smoothie.
I opted to add honey to my lassi. I was a little worried it might be too sweet, but it wasn't at all. The extra sweetness was subtle, and proved a nice compliment to the tangy yogurt. And since I really love cardamom, I blended a healthy pinch into my lassi rather than just sprinkling it on as a garnish. If you're a fan of this spice, I highly recommend following my lead.
- Kelli, June 2015
1 pound strawberries, washed, stems removed, and hulled
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
4 to 5 ice cubes
Pinch of cardamom
In a blender, puree the strawberries and yogurt until smooth. Taste, and add honey if desired for sweetness. Add ice cubes, and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into glass and garnish with sprinkle of cardamom. Serve immediately.
- You can also use frozen strawberries. If you do, omit the ice cubes.
This recipe has been updated — first posted June 2008.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)