26 June, 2019
Indian Yogurt Treats
My friend Gauri and I were talking the other day and, as usual, we got on the subject of food. We haven’t been able to see one another in about a year, so we took advantage of technology and had ourselves a little long-distance lunch date via video chat. I happened to have the ingredients tom make most of what she was eating for lunch, so I joined her.
After teaching me how to make masala curd, she walked me through a couple of other recipes that I could try out in my spare time. All of them are based around yogurt, and two of them are sweet drinks that she said she always enjoyed in the summertime when it was hot and sunny. I’ll start with our savory lunch spread and then share the two drink recipes, ending with the one that has the most options.
This yogurt snack is meant to be eaten with bread, ideally paratha. Gauri recommends Haldiram Aloo Paratha or Paneer Onion Paratha. If you don’t have access to an Indian market or don’t know where else to find paratha, you can use wheat bread, similarly toasted and buttered. Traditionally, you take a piece of the bread and scoop some of the curd.
1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine in a small bowl. In a pan, toast your paratha or wheat bread with butter until warm and brown. Alternatively, pop your wheat bread in a toaster, butter, and then enjoy.
Chhaas is a drink made with watered-down yogurt and best enjoyed cold. Gauri says that this is one of her favorite summertime drinks, combining sweet and a little bit of savory for the perfect refreshment.
1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 cup Water, cold
1 clove Garlic paste
1/4 tsp Ginger paste
1 Green chili, sliced (optional)
Sugar, salt, and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and stir well. The drink should be savory with the sugar just covering the tartness of the yogurt. The texture should be closer to water than to yogurt or a smoothie. Add in the ice and enjoy chilled on a hot summer day.
This last one is a sweet drink with countless flavors and a thicker texture, more reminiscent of a smoothie or milkshake than Chhaas. No matter what flavor you add, yogurt should still be the primary ingredient. I’ll include the base recipe below and then suggest flavors that you can experiment with.
2 cups Plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cup Water, cold
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
Sugar or honey, to taste
Combine those ingredients and you have your base. To make mango lassi, add 1/4 cup mango nectar. For rose lassi (Gauri’s favorite), add a teaspoon (or to taste) of rosewater. You can also try cardamom lassi by adding 1/4 tsp of the spice, ground. Another flavor to try is mint with 1 tbsp dried mint and a touch of cumin. You can find other flavor suggestions online. 🙂 Top off your drink with a handful of ice cubes and enjoy!