|Alternative names||Lachhi, taak, chhah|
|Place of origin||Indian subcontinent|
|Associated national cuisine||India, Bangladesh, Pakistan|
|Main ingredients||Dahi (yogurt), cream, water and spices|
Lassi (pronounced [l?si:]) is a popular traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Lassi is a blend of yoghurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. Namkeen (salty) lassi is similar to doogh, while sweet and mango lassis are like milkshakes. Bhang lassi is infused with the drug cannabis in the form of bhang. Chaas is a similar drink of a thinner consistency.
The traditional namkeen (or salty) form of lassi is more common in the Indian subcontinent. It is prepared by blending dahi (yogurt) with water with added salt. The resulting beverage is known as salted lassi. This is similar to doogh.
Sweet lassi is a form of lassi flavoured with sugar, rosewater or lemon, strawberry or other fruit juices. Saffron lassis, which are particularly rich, are a specialty of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India and Sindh. Makkhaniya lassi is simply lassi with lumps of butter in it (makkhan is the Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi and Punjabi word for butter). It is usually creamy like a milkshake.
Mango lassi is made from yogurt, milk and mango pulp. It may be made with or without added sugar. In various parts of Canada, mango lassi is a cold drink consisting of sweetened kesar mango pulp mixed with yogurt, cream, or ice cream. It is served in a tall glass with a straw, often with ground pistachio nuts sprinkled on top.
Bhang lassi is a cannabis-infused drink that contains bhang, a liquid derivative of cannabis, which has effects similar to other eaten forms of cannabis. It is legal in many parts of India and mainly sold during Holi, when pakoras containing bhang are also sometimes eaten. Uttar Pradesh is known to have licensed bhang shops, and in many places, one can buy bhang products and drink bhang lassis.
Chaas is a salted drink similar to lassi, but may contain more water than lassi and has the butterfat removed to reduce its consistency. Salt, cumin seeds or fresh coriander may be added for taste. Fresh ground ginger and green chillies may also be added as seasoning. Chaas is popular in India where it is a common beverage during or after mealtime.
A 2008 print and televisionad campaign for HSBC, written by Jeffree Benet of JWT Hong Kong, tells a tale of a Polish washing machine manufacturer's representative sent to India to discover why their sales are so high there. On arriving, the representative investigates a lassi parlor, where he is warmly welcomed, and finds several washing machines being used to mix it. The owner tells him he is able to "make ten times as much lassi as I used to!"
On his No Reservations television program, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain visited a "government authorised" bhang shop in Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan. The proprietor offered him three varieties of bhang lassi: normally strong; super duper strong; and "full power, 24 hours, no toilet, no shower".