Joy the Baker

Mint and Cumin Salted Lassi

March 31, 2013

salted mint lassi

I got lost in a Google search time-suck.  I really did have the best intentions.  I was very fervently doing research for a Boston Cream Pie recipe when I stumbled upon the words ‘Salted’ and ‘Lassi’.  Hm.  Usually I find the word ‘Lassi’ paired with the word ‘Mango’, and I’m made to think of the too-thick-for-my-taste yogurt drink served at Indian restaurants.  A Salted Lassi is totally a new addition to my culinary mind.

This yogurt-based drink is paired with fresh mint and cumin.  Yea!  Cumin!  Get excited… this is actually really cool.

The mixture is blended until herby and smooth and them topped with a bit of sparkling water for serving.  This drink is super fresh, easy to drink, and majorly refreshing.  Paired with a super spicy chicken dish… seriously!?  This was delicious enough to make me forget about Boston Cream Pie.

Ps.  I like that we try new things together.

Pps.  Maybe this Salted Lassi isn’t new to you… in which case, what other treats do you have up your sleeve!?

salted mint lassi

This savory lassi starts with simple and humble ingredients.  I pulled together whole-milk yogurt, a big handful of fresh mint, whole cumin seeds, and  a grey sea salt.  We’re going to make these drinkable!

salted mint lassi

We use whole cumin seeds because we want to get the most flavor out of the spice as possible.  Whole cumin is toasted in a dry skillet then crushed in a small spice grinder.  I use this coffee grinder as a spice grinding situation and it works like a gem!

salted mint lassi

The fresh mint and yogurt combination makes this drink super tart and incredibly refreshing.

What is it about fresh mint that feels like a power herb?

salted mint lassi

Glasses are filled with ice and in goes the minty yogurt mixture.  I filled the glasses halfway with lassi then topped them off with sparkling water and a sprinkling of salt.

salted mint lassi

In essence, what we’re talking about is a savory yogurt-based soda.

Are you giving me the raised eyebrow?

Allow me to suggest you grab a super spicy chicken kabob, pair it with this mega-refreshing soda, and call me in the morning.

salted mint lassi

These Salted Lassis are surprising and refreshing.  The yogurt adds a creamy and tart element.  The mint is bright refreshment.  The cumin lends a grounding element to the bright and tart flavors.  The salt makes things all around enticing.  It really is delicious!

Oh!  If you’re wondering, I found these glasses at a place called H.D. Buttercup here in Los Angeles… though I couldn’t find a direct link to the glasses.

Mint and Cumin Salted Lassi

makes 4 small or 2 large drinks

Print this Recipe!

adapted from Susan Feniger’s Street Food

2 cups whole milk plain yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 to 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

For Serving:

Ice

Sparkling water

Coarse sea salt

Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Place whole cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Toast for one minute until fragrant and just slightly golden brown.  Remove from skillet and grind cumin seeds in a spice grinder until powdered.  If you don’t have a dedicated spice grinder, you can simply clean out your coffee grinder and go for it.

In a blender combine yogurt, water, fresh mint leaves, ground cumin, and salt.  Blend until min is smooth, about 1 minute.

To serve, fill glasses with ice cubes.  Fill the glass half full with blended yogurt mixture.  Top with sparkling water, a sprinkling of salt, and fresh mint leaves.  Serve.  


69 Comments Add A Comment

  • These seem essentially like an Indian take on a float. I’ve never heard of a Lassi let alone a salted Lassi. The flavor combo is very indian, but in a drink. Seems bizarre, but I am always open to trying new things.
    Quinn Cooper Style

    • Quinn,
      Lassi is simply buttermilk in India and Pakistan. In the summer months, we add cumin and salt to lassi and it’s delicious. We also add cumin, dried mint, salt, and red chili powder to our yogurt.

  • April Fools?!? I’m usually down with EVERYTHING you make, Joy. This one I’m not so sure I can wrap my mind around. :)

  • The recipe sounds really exciting, thanks for sharing. I love cumin & luckily I have all the ingredients at home, so I’ll be in my kitchen …

  • Thank you for using whole-milk yogurt! When I stay with my mom, I can hardly ever find anything other than low-fat or fat-free yogurt in her suburban town, there should be a bigger demand for it!

  • omg, revelation. I love lassis, but it always seems weird pairing a sweet one with a delicious savoury curry (maybe that’s just me). This would go together so much better imo!

    • Hannah, it’s weird for Indians as well! We usually don’t have sweet lassi with our meals. It’s more of a restaurant thing, then a part of our everyday lives.

  • Its called doogh, traditional Persian drink without cumin and the supplement of soda water is instead of allowing the yogurt to Fremont.

  • Absolutely beautiful photographs ..
    In our part of the world (am from Pakistan) lassi is always either salty (salt & cumin – like the one you made) or sweet .. mango lassi is only available in season :) .. and its always topped with loads of cream at roadside joints .. and the cream is the real cream, the one where you boil whole milk and it separates into cream – packaged cream never has that authentic taste ..
    i thought the addition of the sparkling winter is really interesting –
    btw if you want to try some similar drinks from our part of the world – you should try Shikanjabeen (its basically fresh lemonade with crushed ice, loads of mint, some black salt and a little sprinkling of black pepper) or Kashmiri Chai (this is hot tea made from green tea leaves, but the method of cooking mades it pink in color, and you drink it hot with crushed almonds and pistacho’s) – have the recipe on my blog if you are interested :) ..

  • Those zebra-stripe straws are so cute!

  • God I love cumin. Rarely do I see blog posts with recipes that seem REALLY original and unique but this one stands out.
    Though I love Street so I am not surprised to see that it stems from there. Next up I need to pay a visit to H.D. Buttercup, those glasses are divine.

  • I’m on an Indian food kick so this is perfect.

  • Very interesting! I want a sip. It looks like it’d have a really refreshing taste to it. Your photos are always so full of charm.

  • I’ve been drinking a different version of this since I was little. No soda water, no ice cubes, but still thin, and with coriander leaves added in(that was my favourite part). It was a treat for when my mom or aunt made biryani, a dish I hated, but made bearable with a big glass of this lassi.

  • this drink is something we usually keep around the house during summers. the thinner n savoury version is sometimes called ‘chaas’ instead of lassi (which is usually thick n sweet ). you could also use shredded coriander leaves instead of mint. they also do a version with tempered garlic n whole cumin seeds. its really good!

  • So is the drink savory or sweet or both really? Also your cute glasses look like Moroccan mint tea cups to me!

  • Cumin in a drink! That’s a new one to me! I love the big pretty mint leaves in this one, too!

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