Lassi is not just a popular summer drink but there are different versions of it made throughout the entire Indian sub-continent. Recipes range from serving it with clotted cream, blending in fruits and spices like mangoes, strawberries,mint, cumin and even chocolate!
It is said that the world's first smoothie was made in 1000 BC in Punjab, northern India. Many say that milk was kept cool in earthen pots and later curd and sugar were stirred in using wooden sticks and served in clay pots; while others claim that it was yoghurt that was actually kept cool and then sugar and water was stirred in to make the “ancient Lassi.”
Today, it is not just a popular summer drink but there are now different versions of it made throughout the entire Indian sub-continent. Recipes range from serving it with clotted cream, blending in fruits and spices like mangoes, strawberries, mint, cumin and even chocolate!
My fondest memories of lassi has always revolved around summer weekend trips to Chadni Chawk, New Market and Dhaka College, discussing about which purchase was a good bargain or to complain about the heat at the end of the shopping spree; all over plates of fuchka/chotpoti and glasses of chilled lassi. But if you really want the real taste of Dhaka's version of the lassi drink, the best place to try out is “Beauty Lassi and Faluda.” Located on Johnson Road in Puran Dhaka, this nearly a century old shop is known for its traditional drinks like, lebur shorbot (lemonade) and lassi that will not even cost you a digit of your hand. The traditional wooden stick is still used to make this addictively sweet, rose-flavoured iced lassi in metal pots right in front of your eyes!
Another yoghurt like drink that is also popular in the heat is Mattha, known as Chaanch in some regions of India. The basic difference between Lassi and Mattha is that the first is made from yoghurt while the latter from buttermilk. In Puran Dhaka, Mathha is commonly sold from large pots alongside fresh chhana (cottage cheese) with a layer of sugar by vendors in carts.
Recipes and photos: Collected