Recipe: Turmeric lassi

Better than it looks, I swear!
Better than it looks, I swear!

Before you say “EW!” and click away, I just want you to know that this is actually really good, and really good for you! I went through a major smoothie phase in high school, but cleaning out the blender (which doesn’t do a very good job of processing ice anyway) is a pain, and I realized it’s probably better for my health/calorie intake if I just eat fruit rather than drinking it. But I saw this recipe on Green Kitchen Stories (which is a quite fun cooking site) and was intrigued. I’d heard earlier in the summer about the health benefits of turmeric, particularly as an anti-inflammatory, and I love trying weird combinations of sweet things and savory-ish spices, and I had a banana that needed using up and didn’t feel like making pancakes this morning. I just couldn’t resist trying it.

Most people know lassi as a sweet, yogurt-based drink you can get in Indian and Pakistani restaurants, but the more common/traditional form of the drink in its region of origin (which is, yes, India, Pakistan, and Bangaldesh) actually does not contain fruit. Instead, yogurt is mixed with water and then flavored with a little sugar, spices, and/or salt. I haven’t had this kind of lassi, but I did try the rather similar drink ayran in Istanbul (a diluted yogurt drink flavored with salt), and it thought it was rather good.

Anyway, this is a fruit lassi, so somewhat non-traditional, but it’s still good. Ginger and banana go together like chocolate and mint (if you don’t like that combo, you’re weird, sorry), and the turmeric makes things interesting. I used 2 tsp of turmeric when I made this, but I would maybe go for 1 or 1.5 tsp next time…that particular flavor was a little strong. It still went very well with the banana, ginger, and lemon, though! Apart from the turmeric, the health boosts in this drink include GI-tract soothing active cultures in the yogurt, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B-6 in the banana, and vitamin C in…basically all the ingredients. Enjoy!

The lighting is a bit dull, so you can't tell that the color of the drink is somewhere between a sunflower and a marigold. Pretty!
The lighting is a bit dull, so you can’t tell that the color of the drink is somewhere between a sunflower and a marigold. Pretty!

Turmeric Lassi

Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories.

Yield: 1 large glass or 2 small glasses.

1 c plain yogurt with live cultures
1 ripe banana
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tsp rosehip powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp ground turmeric
2-3 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed until smooth. Add more yogurt if you prefer. For a more impressive presentation, dust 1/2 tsp ground turmeric on top before serving.

Serving suggestion: on its own after a workout, or as a light breakfast or dessert.

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