A lassi is an after-meal digestive probiotic drink common in Ayurveda. It consists mainly of plain yogurt, water and spices, making it a powerful and delicious after dinner digestive boost. This particular lassi recipe includes turmeric among other spices, making it a great tonic for the skin, liver and blood as well. In fact, when turmeric is taken in this manner (with yogurt), it is an excellent blood strengthener and cleanser, and is considered a great remedy for those with anemia.
A lassi can be made to be savory or sweet , although I tend to appreciate the latter. Therefore I enjoy adding a touch of honey to my lassi recipes to balance the bitterness of the spices and the sourness of the yogurt. Honey is also highly medicinal when used in moderation, as it acts as a catalyst to the herbs and is also considered to possess a “scraping” property meaning it scrapes toxins, excessive fat and cholesterol from the system. Not to mention it is great for allergies when local, contains invaluable enzymes when raw, and is antibacterial by nature. If that isn’t enough, having a slightly sweet lassi after meals, will help to conquer the typical post-meal sweet craving in a healthy, guilt-free way!
Many people have heard of the “mango lassi”, and if you have ever tried it, it is truly delicious. However, this is NOT an Ayurvedic drink as it contains one of the biggest improper food combinations: fruit and dairy. In fact, fruit should not be eaten with any other food types and should never be eaten after a meal (read more on food combining here). Therefore, I have to place a warning out there to avoid the mango lassi; as instead of being a digestive aid, it will sadly lead to fermentation in the gut, toxic accumulation and a reduced digestive fire.
Luckily this lassi recipe is a much healthier replacement and is quite delicious in its own right. In moderation it can be taken after meals by all body types, although in excess it has potential to increase Kapha (due to the dairy) and Pitta (due to the fermentation factor).
*See optional modifications for each dosha below.
- 1/2 cup of plain whole milk organic yogurt
- 1 cup of water
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder**
- 1/8 tsp ginger powder**
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder**
- 1/8 tsp cardamon powder**
- 3 saffron stigmas
- 1 tsp of raw honey
**These spices can be replaced with 1/4-1/2 tsp of the Ayurvedic Breakfast Spices
1. Place the yogurt in a blender.
2. Add the water, spices and honey.
3. Blend thoroughly for 1 minute.
4. Alternatively one can use a hand blender or a ball jar with an airtight lid to “shake it up”. My personal favorite is the hand blender.
5. Take 1/2 cup of this probiotic drink after each meal to increase the digestion, boost beneficial bacteria in the gut and strengthen the blood.
Optional Doshic Variations
This recipe is great as is for Vata types and should be taken regularly after meals to reduce gas, bloating and constipation symptoms.
Pitta types should replace the honey with maple syrup which is more cooling. If available they should use homemade yogurt, as this is more cooling and less sour than its store bought counterpart.
Kapha types should use plain goat yogurt rather than cow yogurt, as this tends to be easier to digest. They can double the amount of cinnamon and ginger and add in a pinch of black pepper. If there is a strong Kapha imbalance such as congestion, cough, excessive mucus, excessive weight or obesity, one should reduce the amount of yogurt in half.