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The first time Tim took me to Indian food was the first time I liked Indian food. It was also the first time I ordered a lassi. I am half Indian, my dad grew up in southern India, and my Italian-German-Danish mom taught herself to make a mean curry, but I wasn’t on Team International Eating until well into my adult years.
By the time I’d met and married Tim, I liked plenty of different cuisines, just not Indian, so on our one-month wedding anniversary, we decided to celebrate by doing something to change that. We went to Nashville’s Sitar and ordered Tim’s favorites: butter chicken and garlic naan. Turns out pillowy herbed dough heady with garlic, alongside creamy, tender chicken, is not a hard sell. I was in.
Mostly though, there was that sweetened yogurt drink that had caught my eye on the menu and accompanied my meal. Served over ice in a tall glass, it was sweet, just barely, and flavored with rosewater – it was also the most wonderful offering I’d ever sipped through a straw.
I’ve ordered other lassis since, at other restaurants, and they’re usually nice, but that rosewater one is a stand-out. Tangy and frothy and not so sugary to give you a headache (which other lassis have been), it was the kind of drink you dream about for days after it’s yours.
Last week, Tim ordered rosewater. It’s pretty easy to find online, and it smells like bathroom potpourri, which is another way of saying I’m not outside enough.
You might be tempted, like I have been for years, to think making a splurge purchase on rosewater is out of hand, but, fresh from the lassis we had for breakfast this morning, let me tell you I was wrong. Rosewater imparts the irreplaceable flavor of roses into the foods it’s placed in, creating a floral flavor at once pleasant and unique.
NOTE: If you are using either product in a recipe, make sure you buy FOOD GRADE version from a reputable company.
Tim was reading the shakeology review with the recipe for this re-creation of my beloved restaurant drink, and, if you’ll permit me to brag on him for a minute, let me tell you it is spot-on. Pale and frothy, sweet but not overly so, with just enough tang to remind you of the yogurt and kefir but not enough to turn you away. Coupled with the cardamom, it holds the new first-place title of Best Drink I’ve Tasted in my book.
I couldn’t wait until another day to tell you about it, so here you go.
Get your hands on some rosewater and make this now.Print
- 1 cup full-fat, organic yogurt
- 1 1/2 cup plain kefir
- 1/2 cup unrefined powdered sugar or powdered sucanat
- 1/2 teaspoon of FOOD GRADE rose water or rose hydrosol
- 1/8 teaspoon of organic cardamom powder
- Enough ice to fill two 16-ounce glasses about 3/4 of the way full
If you’re going to powder the sugar yourself (see the note below), start there: powder the Sucanat in a food processor or high-powdered blender (Skip this step if you’ve got unrefined powdered sugar on hand.)
Then, combine powdered sugar with yogurt, kefir, rosewater, and cardamom in a blender until smooth.
Serve over glasses filled with ice. Makes two servings.
A quick note on the powdered sugar: We used Sucanat and just ground it into a powder consistency by whirring it in the Vitamix as a first step. Whatever sugar you use, you want it to be essentially powdered in order for it to dissolve easily in the drink.
Photos by Shanna Mallon, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.