Lassi Recipe (3 Ways)

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Lassi is a cooling, refreshing, probiotic drink perfect for the warm summer months. Popular in Punjab and North India, there are many variations of a lassi recipe, including mango lassi, dry fruits lassi, and malai lassi. Here I share three easy, energizing and flavorful lassi recipe variations with you.

sweet lassi topped with crushed cardamom powder and saffron in two tall glasses on a wooden board

What is Lassi

Lassi is a blended yogurt drink that is very popular in the Northern Parts of India. It is made with blending curd or yogurt with water or milk, salt or sugar and a few spices or herbs.

There are many variations of making this drink. Lassi is made both sweet and salty. Lassi is also a probiotic drink as obviously it is made from curd or yogurt which has gut friendly bacteria in it.

It is also made with a combination of fruits and yogurt. I have earlier shared these fruity variations of lassi – Mango Lassi and Strawberry Lassi.

Although the sweet version is a preferred choice of drink for many, some folks also like salted lassi. My personal favorite will always be Mango lassi.

Relished in hot summers because of its cooling properties, we often make lassi using a wooden churner and blender (called as madani, in Punjabi and Hindi language). You can choose to blend the lassi ingredients in a blender or with a wired whisk or immersion blender.

I do have a blender, but I prefer to make lassi this way with the wooden churner. Churning the fresh Homemade Curd with the traditional Indian hand blender has its own charm, and lassi made this way tastes different, too.

1. Sweet Lassi

I love to make the sweet Punjabi lassi at home. Very light and not nearly as heavy as other some other versions, this lassi recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare. Sweet Lassi is flavored with fragrant spices like cardamom or saffron and include nuts too.

Some sweet lassi are served with many more ingredients. In Punjab, for example, lassi are served in huge glasses with 2 to 3 tablespoons of makhan (unsalted white butter) on top.

Combine this with the already thick consistency of lassi, and you can imagine how filling this must be! The lassi is so heavy that you cannot have any meal or food later.

A spoon is usually served with Punjabi lassi, so that first you have the soft and buttery makhan, then you can drink the lassi as a beverage. But if you’re looking for a lassi recipe that’s a bit lighter, this simple, sweet lassi is for you.

2. Salted Lassi

The salted version of lassi is a contrasting variation to the popular sweet lassi. This salty lassi is spiced and flavored with black salt, roasted cumin powder and garnished with mint leaves.

If you like the sulfurous hints of black salt in drinks then you might like this lassi. If you are not able to get black salt, then simply use the regular table salt or edible rock salt.

salted lassi topped with chopped mint in two small glasses on a wooden table lined with light blue linen

A variation to this lassi, is to blend some mint leaves with yogurt and you have nice refreshing Mint lassi. Some people also make this lassi simply with yogurt, water and salt.

The earthy cumin and the fragrant mint help in digestion and also add plenty of flavor to the salty lassi.

While you may think that salted lassi and Chaas (Indian Buttermilk) look the same, but they are not. Salted lassi has a thick consistency unlike buttermilk which has a thinner consistency.

3. Masala Lassi

A spiced version of Lassi called as Masala Lassi has a few spices included in it. I share a sweet version of Masala lassi and not the salted variation.

These few spices like black pepper, green cardamoms and nutmeg, they overpower the flavors of the yogurt.

You only need to crush the green cardamoms in the mortar-pestle. Crush the pepper in a pepper-mill or mortar-pestle. And grate the nutmeg using a fine grater or a zester.

collage of two photos with palm sugar and spices on a white plate with text layovers

One of our friends would make this for us. She would use palm sugar (palm jaggery) as a sweetener and it would give an an earthy and an intense flavor to the drink. Palm jaggery also complements the flavor of the spices in the lassi.

If palm sugar is not available, replace with our Indian jaggery or raw sugar or white sugar.

To make masala lassi, simply blend everything in a blender or mixer. Use chilled yogurt so that you do not have to refrigerate the lassi later and you can omit adding the ice cubes.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Sweet Lassi

Before you begin ensure that the whole milk curd (yogurt) is fresh and not gone sour. I always make lassi with homemade curd. After the curd is well set and done, I keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours so that it gets cold.

Crush Cardamoms

1. First, in a mortar, take 8 to 10 green cardamom pods and crush them lightly. Then remove the husk and crush the seeds.

You can skip these first two steps if using pre-made ground cardamom. Add about 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom to yogurt while blending.

crushed cardamom pods in a stone mortar for sweet lassi

2. Now crush the seeds to a fine powder.

crushed cardamom seeds in stone mortar

Whisk Curd or Yogurt

3. Then in a bowl or pan, take 2 cups fresh chilled yogurt or homemade curd.

curd or yogurt in a glass bowl

4. Next, with a handheld wooden churner (called madani in Hindi) or an immersion blender or a wired whisk, whip the curd until it becomes smooth.

curd being blended with a wooden hand blender

5. The curd should be smooth before you add other ingredients to it.

smooth whisked curd in glass bowl

Sweeten the Curd

6. Now add 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar or as needed.

mound of sugar on the whisked curd in the bowl

7. Pour 1 cup cold water or cold milk if you prefer. For a thicker lassi, add ½ cup of water or milk or do not add any liquids. For a thinner consistency, add 1.5 cups water or milk.

water added to whisked curd

8. Now begin to churn or blend the lassi mixture with the wooden churner or immersion blender or wired whisk

curd mixture being churned with wooden churner to make lassi

Continue to Churn Lassi

9. Keep on churning, blending or whisking until the sugar dissolves and you see a nice frothy layer on top.

Apart from using using a wired whisk or an immersion blender, another method is to add the lassi ingredients in a blender. Then blend until smooth and frothy.

curd, water and sugar being blended and churned with handheld wooden churner

10. In the below photo you can see a good frothy layer on top.

frothy sweet lassi ready

Add Flavors

11. Now add 1 teaspoon of the crushed cardamom powder and 10 to 12 crushed saffron strands.

cardamom powder and saffron strands on top of the frothy lassi

12. Mix well. Do a taste test and add more sugar if needed.

cardamom powder and saffron strand mixed with wooden churner

Serve and Enjoy

13. Pour lassi in tall glasses and serve. You can add ice cubes to your lassi if you prefer. Garnish with a pinch or two of ground cardamom powder, 2 to 3 crushed saffron strands or chopped nuts. Serve this sweet lassi recipe straightaway.

Some people store it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If you plan to keep it in the refrigerator then do not add ice cubes.

Top shot of two glasses filled with lassi
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Salted Lassi

1. Take 2.5 cups yogurt in a bowl or pan.

yogurt in a white and blue designed ceramic pan

2. Add 1 cup water to the yogurt. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon black salt and 1.5 teaspoon roasted cumin powder.

If you don’t have black salt then you can substitute it with regular salt or edible rock salt according to your taste preferences.

TIP: To make your own roasted ground cumin, simply dry roast cumin seeds in a small frying pan or skillet until fragrant. When cooled, grind the toasty crispy seeds in a spice-grinder or in a mortar-pestle.

water, seasonings added to yogurt in in a white and blue designed ceramic pan

3. With a wired whisk blend everything well till smooth and frothy. Again here I have used the traditional Indian handheld wooden blender, known as madani. You can use an electric blender.

Do check the taste of the salty lassi and add more salt or ground cumin if needed according to your preferences.

yogurt, water, seasonings being blended with a hand wooden churner to make salted lassi

4. Pour in glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and serve salted lassi. Ice cubes can be added or you can use chilled yogurt and water to make the salty version.

A light sprinkle of roasted ground cumin, red chilli powder or cayenne pepper and chaat masala on the lassi also tastes good.

salted lassi served in two small glasses on a light blue linen lined on top of a small table

Masala Lassi Recipe

  1. In a blender take 2 cups chilled curd (yogurt), crushed seeds from 3 to 4 green cardamons, ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper, 1 to 2 pinches of grated nutmeg, 2 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or pistachios or a mix of all three nuts.
  2. Add 10 to 12 saffron strands and 5 to 6 tablespoons chopped palm sugar (palm jaggery) or jaggery or sugar. Add about ⅓ to ½ cup water.
  3. Blend until smooth and frothy. Check the taste and if needed add more palm sugar and blend again. Serve straightaway topped with a few saffron strands or chopped nuts.

Serving Suggestions

Serve lassi as a refreshing drink during daytime or you can choose to serve it as a drink after any Indian meal.

When serving sweet lassi, garnish with some chopped nuts like pistachios or almonds.

Salty lassi can be topped with fresh mint or coriander leaves and a light sprinkling of roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) or chaat masala.

Storage

Store your leftover lassi it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. No need to add ice cubes if you plan to store.

Tips

Expert Tips

  • Flavorings for sweet lassi: For the sweet lassi recipe, you can add either cardamom powder or rose water or even including both these flavoring ingredients together work well. You could also choose to skip or include saffron in your sweet lassi recipe. Omit adding any of the flavoring ingredients if you do not have them.
  • Consistency: The consistency of all the three lassi recipe is neither thick nor thin. For a thinner consistency, add slightly more water but do not add a lot of water as this will dilute the flavors and the sweetness or saltiness in the lassi. For a thicker lassi, add less water or do not add water at all.
  • Sweeteners: For sweet lassi, sugar is the preferred choice of sweetener. But you can opt to add palm sugar (as I have done in the masala lassi) or coconut sugar or jaggery. 
  • Freshness: For the best lassi experience make sure to use whole milk curd that has not gone sour. The curd or yogurt should be fresh, cold and not rancid. I always make lassi with freshly set homemade curd and keep it the fridge for a couple of hours to make it cold.
  • Scaling: All of the three lassi recipes can be doubled or tripled to make a large batch.

FAQs

What makes the sweet lassi recipe a light lassi?

I have not added any cream or makhan. Also I have added water and not milk to the curd while blending it. Hence this is a light lassi recipe and not a heavy one.

Can I add more flavors to the lassi?

Absolutely! In fact, there are many variations of lassi. Add strawberries to make Strawberry Lassi. Blend some ripe sweet mangoes and make Mango Lassi. Add some dried rose petals, rose syrup to make Rose Lassi or make a Fruit Lassi with mixed fruits.

Are lassi recipes always sweet?

No, as you see here I have shared a salted lassi recipe. Lassi has many variations and sweet lassi is the most popular version preferred by many.

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sweet lassi topped with crushed cardamom powder and saffron in two tall glasses

Lassi Recipe

4.88 from 39 votes
Lassi is a cooling, refreshing, probiotic drink perfect for the warm summer months. Popular in Punjab and North India, there are many variations of this sweet lassi recipe. Find three easy, energizing and flavorful lassi recipe variations.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course: Beverages
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

For Sweet Lassi

  • 2 cups Curd – cold and fresh (yogurt)
  • 1 cup water or milk – cold or at room temperature
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar or add as per taste
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder or 8 to 10 green cardamoms or 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 10 to 12 saffron strands – optional
  • 6 to 8 ice cubes – optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped nuts – cashews, almonds, pistachios, optional

For Salted Lassi

  • 2.5 cups Curd – cold and fresh (yogurt)
  • 1 cup water – cold or at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon black salt or regular salt or edible rock salt, as required
  • 1.5 teaspoons roasted cumin powder
  • 6 to 7 mint leaves

For Masala Lassi

  • 2 cups Curd – cold and fresh (yogurt)
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms – seeds crushed in mortar and husks removed
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1 to 2 pinches grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or pistachios
  • 10 to 12 saffron strands – optional
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons chopped palm sugar (palm jaggery) or jaggery or sugar
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water – cold or at room temperature, add as required

Instructions

Making Sweet Lassi

  • In a mortar, take the green cardamom pods and crush them lightly. Remove the husks and crush the seeds to a fine powder.
  • In a bowl or pan, take fresh chilled curd (yogurt).
  • With the handheld wooden churner (madani)or blender or wired whisk, simply whisk the curd until it becomes smooth.
  • Add sugar and cold water. You can also add cold milk instead of water.
  • The consistency of this lassi is neither thick nor thin. For a thin lassi, add slightly more water and for a thicker version, add less water .
  • Now churn or beat again with the churner, blender or wired whisk.
  • Keep on churning or whisking until the sugar dissolves and you see a nice frothy layer on top. You can use an immersion blender for the same. Another way is to add all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until smooth and frothy.
  • Now add the crushed cardamom powder and saffron strands. Mix well. Do check the taste and add more sugar if required.
  • As a substitute for cardamom powder, add rose water. You can skip all the flavoring ingredients, if you don't have any.
  • Pour lassi in tall glasses and serve. Add a few ice cubes if you prefer. If you want, you can top lassi in each glass with 1 to 2 tablespoons of malai (the thick layer of cream which collects on top of heated milk) or 1 to 2 tablespoons of unsalted white butter (makhan).
  • Garnish with a pinch or two of cardamom powder, 2 to 3 crushed saffron strands or chopped nuts like cashews, pistachios or almonds. Serve sweet punjabi lassi straightaway.

Making Salted Lassi

  • Take the curd and water in a bowl or pan. Season with salt and roasted cumin powder.
  • To make your own roasted ground cumin, dry roast cumin seeds in a small skillet or frying pan until fragrant. Then crush in a mortar-pestle or grind finely in a spice-grinder.
  • With a wired whisk blend everything well till smooth. A blender or an immersion blender also works.
  • Pour the salted lassi in glasses. Garnish with mint leaves. You can add a few ice cubes if you like. If you wish to avoid the ice cubes, then make lassi with chilled yogurt and cold water.

Making Masala Lassi

  • In a blender take the curd, crushed seeds of the green cardamons, crushed black pepper, grated nutmeg, chopped almonds or cashews or pistachios or a mix of all three nuts.
  • Add the saffron strands and chopped palm jaggery (palm sugar) or jaggery or sugar. Add water.
  • Blend until smooth and frothy. Check the taste and add more palm sugar if needed and blend again. Serve straightaway topped with a few saffron strands or chopped nuts.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve lassi as a refreshing drink during the daytime or serve it as drink it after any Indian meal.
  • While serving sweet lassi, garnish with some chopped nuts like pistachios or almonds.
  • Salted lassi can be topped with fresh mint or coriander leaves and a light sprinkling of roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) or chaat masala.

Storage

  • Store your leftover lassi it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. No need to add ice cubes if you plan to store.

Notes

  1. Scaling: All of the three lassi recipes can be doubled or tripled to make a large batch.
  2. Freshness: For the best lassi experience make sure to use curd that has not gone sour. The curd or yogurt should be fresh, cold and not rancid. I always make lassi with freshly set homemade curd and keep it the fridge for a couple of hours to make it cold.
  3. Flavorings for sweet lassi: For the sweet lassi recipe, you can add either cardamom powder or rose water or even adding both these flavorings work well. You could also choose to skip or include saffron in your sweet lassi recipe. Omit adding any of the flavoring ingredients if you don’t have them.
  4. Consistency: The consistency of all the three lassi recipe is neither thick nor thin. For a thinner consistency, add slightly more water but do not add plenty of water as this will dilute the flavors and the sweetness or saltiness. For a thicker lassi, add less water or do not add water at all.
  5. Sweeteners: For sweet lassi, sugar is the preferred choice of sweetener. But you can opt to add palm sugar (as I have done in the masala lassi) or coconut sugar or jaggery. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Lassi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 374 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 123mg5%
Potassium 444mg13%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 59g66%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 244IU5%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 324mg32%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 20µg5%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 48mg12%
Phosphorus 260mg26%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This lassi recipe post from the blog archives (May 2012) has been republished and updated on 23 April 2021.

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66 Comments

    1. thanks. you can skip sugar and use other sweeteners like maple syrup, jaggery, coconut sugar or palm sugar.

  1. Hi Just would like to check do you really mean 12 tablespoons of sugar (tbsp) or 12 teaspoons (tsp)? 12 tablespoons seems an awful lot for 4 cups of liquid! Thanks5 stars

    1. lou, its 10 to 12 tablespoons. curd is sour and so less sugar won’t make it sweet. however you can always add sugar as per your taste buds. so you can even add 4 to 5 tablespoons and see if it works for you.

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