Cool and Creamy Indian Lassi: The Perfect Sweet Refreshment

Originally posted June 3, 2015. Revised and updated March 31, 2017.

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If you’re searching for a refreshing and creamy drink, and want something other than the now-ubiquitous smoothies and iced coffees, then you should definitely give the yogurt-based Indian lassi a try.

If you are looking for a new smoothie recipe, try our cool and creamy Indian lassi. We share our recipe:

Cooled down and infused with aromatic herbs and spices, it will refresh your senses, and quickly become one of your favorites.

Besides its cooling effect, lassi is the perfect beverage to temper the effects of a hot and spicy meal, such as my vegetarian sweet potato pilaw dish.

The ingredients responsible for the burning sensation in your mouth are oil-soluble, so guzzling water never has a lasting effect.

Update your smoothie game by making a refreshing yogurt-based mango lassi. We share our recipe:

The natural fat content of yogurt (which is the basis of this lassi) will help to dissolve the capsicum, or the chemical responsible for the hotness found in hot peppers.

Even better… yogurt is a type of fermented food, so you can maintain a healthy gut all while enjoying this creamy beverage!

The basic recipe offered below is easy to make, and it can be varied in countless ways. You can mix water or milk with yogurt in a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2.

By choosing the first version, it will have a more liquid and loose consistency. If you use sparkling water instead of milk, it will have a fluffy and lighter consistency.

The interesting thing about this kind of shake is that you can mix up sweet as well as salty varieties (sometimes called namkin). If you’ve never had a salty, spicy drink before, then you should definitely make the namkin lassi!

We share our recipes for two different styles of cool and refreshing Indian lassi beverages:

It is also fun to get creative and start experimenting with the ingredients. I really had a ball mixing fruits like strawberries with mint, or lemon with basil.

Some other great spices for this refreshing yogurt beverage would be cardamom, coriander, or cumin. And try rosewater, honey, or maple syrup as sweeteners.

Below is a basic lassi recipe that you can adjust to any flavor that suits your fancy. I have also added a mango version, which is a popular and tasty combination, as well as a version of namkin for you to try.

Try a refereshing alternative to smoothies and iced coffees with our creamy Indian lassi. We share our recipe:

Click here for more mango ideas.

If you prefer your beverage to be lactose-free or vegan, just replace the yogurt with an alternative made of soy, almond, or coconut, and mix with sparkling water or a milk replacement.

No matter how you make it, serve fresh and chilled for a wonderful cooling effect.

The Recipe

Cool and Refreshing Mango Lassi |
Basic Indian Lassi With Variations
Votes: 7
Rating: 4.43
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
Cool and Refreshing Mango Lassi |
Basic Indian Lassi With Variations
Votes: 7
Rating: 4.43
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
Basic Recipe
  • 2 cups cold plain yogurt
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water or/and cold milk
Mango Version
  • basic recipe
  • 2 1/2 cups mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon sugar honey or syrup
  • 1 ground cardamom pod optional
Namkin Version
  • basic recipe
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • squeeze of lemon juice
Basic Recipe
  1. Mix the yogurt and the water in a blender until creamy.
Mango Version
  1. Mix the pulp and sugar with the basic recipe (and cardamom if you like) until smooth and creamy.
Namkin Version
  1. Roast the cumin in a pan without fat, and let cool. Grind with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add the ground cumin together with the remaining ingredients to the basic recipe and mix until smooth.

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
Basic Indian Lassi With Variations
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Potassium 594mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 37g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 25%
Vitamin C 70%
Calcium 31%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Mango Lassi – Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure the Ingredients

Measure 1 cup water (or milk) and 2 cups yogurt.

With just a few ingredients, it's easy to make a refreshing Indian lassi with fresh mango. Get our recipe now:

Step 2 – Prepare the Fruit

Peel the mango and cut it into chunks.

Love mango? Try it in our cool and creamy mango lassi shake. Get the recipe now:

Step 3 – Blend the Mixture

Add the yogurt mixture, mango, and sugar to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Optional: add ground cardamom along with the other ingredients.

Learn how to make a refreshing and sweet mango lassi with our easy recipe:

Namkin Lassi – Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure the Ingredients

Measure 1 cup water (or milk) and 2 cups yogurt.

If you love smoothies, you will love Indian lassi. It's rich, creamy, spicy, and so refreshing! Get the recipe now:

Step 2 – Prepare the Spices

Roast the cumin in a pan without fat for 2-3 minutes. Let cool, and grind with a mortar and pestle.

Learn how to use spices to make a cool, creamy, and sweet Indian lassi beverage. We share our recipe:

Step 3 – Blend the Mixture

Add the yogurt mixture, cumin, salt, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Make a sweet and refreshing alternative to a smoothie, with our recipe for Indian lassi:

Refresh Yourself the Indian Way

Whether it’s getting hot outside or on your plate, this refreshing yogurt-based drink is the right choice to cool you down. If you’re bold enough, try out the spicy version with salt and cumin, or go for the classic sweet drink with mango, strawberries, or your favorite kind of fruit.

Enjoy a cool and creamy glass of fresh mango lassi |

It’s fun to experiment with flavors and sweeteners. Plus, you can adapt the shake the way you like with different milk replacements, so everyone can enjoy this cool and satisfying drink.

Want to try another unique Indian beverage that is sure to quench your thirst? You will love our recipe for nimbu pani – it’s a sweet and refreshing limeade bursting with fresh mint, fresh lime, and bubbly seltzer water.

What combinations have you tried with your lassi? Do you enjoy a namkin version, or do you prefer a sweet and fruity drink? Let us know your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.

Don’t forget to Pin It!

Tired of the same old iced tea, iced coffees, and smoothies? Try our recipe for yogurt-based Indian lassi for a refreshing drink that's a little different. Using our base recipe, you can make endless variations in your favorite flavors. Get the recipe, as well as two styles of our own personal favorite flavors, on Foodal now.

Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Nina-Kristin Isensee

Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.

29 thoughts on “Cool and Creamy Indian Lassi: The Perfect Sweet Refreshment”

  1. This beverage is always a must whenever I eat at an Indian restaurant. I’ve always wanted to re-create this at home but never saw a recipe for it. I’m glad that there is a simple way of re-creating this favorite drink of mine. The first Lassi I tried was I think the Namkin variety and it didn’t really suit my taste buds. I refused to try other variants of the drink thinking they taste all the same but when I tasted the regular one, I fell in love with it! I can’t say I’m going to try the Namkin recipe but I’ll definitely try the regular and mango flavored one for sure!

    • I have to admit that I am also more fond of the sweet, fruity versions than of the Namkin. Maybe it’s because salty drinks are really exceptional where I live. Now, you can find and create your favorite version at home, enjoy!

  2. I’ve never heard of this before, but I enjoy trying new things, and it sounds like a good way to cool off during the hot Texas summers. Your strawberry and mint combination sounds very refreshing, as well as the lemon basic variety. This sounds as if it could be something good to eat before a meal, as well, to dampen the appetite, or for a snack, since it contains yogurt, so could be somewhat filling.

    • That’s right, due to the yogurt it can be quite filling. When I want to drink it together with a meal, I replace the whole amount of milk with water and try to use a low-fat yogurt variety. In that case, I often mix it 1:1 instead of 2:1 to make it a bit lighter.

  3. I’ll try this the next time I have my sister over for dinner. She is always trying new drinks. Is there an alcohol or liqueur that you can recommend adding? I know that will be her first question! 😉

    • I have the perfect suggestion for this: Rumchata. It won’t alter the colour & it compliments the flavours you’ve already established in the lassi. It adds to the creamy nature while spiking it in a way where you won’t have that unpleasant alcohol aftertaste.

    • I haven’t really thought about it yet 🙂 but I can imagine that a liqueur like “Batida de Coco”, “Kahlùa”, “Crème de menthe” or “Amaretto” would be a good choice – depending on the used fruits and spices. I think they might work with the general milky flavor of the drink.
      As I haven’t tried it myself, you would be the pioneer here. If you find a nice combination you are welcome to share it 😉

      PS: I have just read JoanMcWench’s comment on the topic, it sounds great too. Too sad that I have never seen it here in Germany. I will be on the look-out for it!

      • It’s quite easy to make yourself if that’s the case:

        1 ounce spiced rum
        1 cup Horchata
        Your preferred amount of ground cinnamon
        1/2 ounce simple syrup

        Nice by itself but added to the lassi? I imagine it’s way better. Which I’ll be doing this wekend. A great way to thicken it without losing flavour.

        • Thank you for that, it sounds really good! So I hope you enjoyed the weekend with this fabulous combination 🙂

  4. I worked at an Indian-African fusion restaurant for about 6 months and one of the things we had on the children’s menu was lassi. People would rave about it. I loved it as well, but unless I was at work I wasn’t really able to get it. I have since quit that job, so now I can’t get it at all! I love the recipe here, because now I can make it at home. What I love about this recipe is the versatility. You can mix up the flavors to customize it to your needs…although mango really is perfect for summer! Thank you!

  5. I’ve seen lassi at a few places in town but I’ve never tried it. I don’t know why, as it seems right up my alley. I feel like it serves a similar purchase as horchata in Mexican restaurants (which I love), to help take the burn off those hot spices. Time for me to bust out the blender and try this!

  6. I have never heard of this drink but it looks very tasty! It sounds like a refreshing shake to have outside on a hot day. I have a feeling I will be more inclined to the mango and sweet versions. I can think of several different fruits to try mixing it with. Thank you for the recipe!

  7. I’ve heard about this drink so many times, and I’ve always wanted to try it. It seems like there are a lot of spices in it that you find in chai blends, and I bet they’ll taste great cold. Also, I eat a lot of spicy food, and this would be wonderful to have with dinner! Of course, being a college student, I don’t have a blender, but I now have one more reason to get one.

    • That’s right, typical chai-spices go really well with the drink. I once really enjoyed a chai-style version with banana. I hope you will find a suitable blender, it is a really convenient equipment for many dishes, drinks as cocktails or smoothies as well as soups or dips/sauces. I am sure it will be worth it 🙂

  8. I’ll have two please. This looks so refreshing, and yummy. I can just taste how smooth, cool, and sweet it is. Especially on these hot summer days. I am a bit of a smoothie junkie, and this would fit right in with them.

    • Indian Lassie is the best kind of smoothie I have ever had! I always make mango flavored at my house because it’s so good. I have never had the Namkin style before though and I have never had one with sparkling water before either. I like these variations. They are very unique and I cant wait to try them out.

  9. I am a fan of indian and asian cuisine. The indian lassi is without a doubt an extremely refreshing drink but from my experience as well as from many people who i know it seems to have sedative effects as well.

  10. This is something I have heard about from my Indian friends, but I have never tried it. Tell you what, next time they make it, I’ll try it. I don’t trust my own cooking abilities enough to get it right the first time, and I would like to know what it should taste like. I’m also a bit hesitant to try the salty, spicy version of this, but life is an adventure, and you have to try new things to enjoy it. Thanks for the article!

    • Great that you want to try it next time! You’re right about trying new things, so I hope you will enjoy it. I have to admit that a salty drink is quite unusal, isnt’ it? But if you have Indian friends who can prepare Lassis, that’s fantastic! I’m sure they will make delicious varieites and convince you 😉

  11. I’ve tried lassi with coconut milk added during my journeys in South East Asia (probably a local twist on the drink). It matches really well with the taste, but needless to say it’s a pretty unhealthy spin on the drink, with coconut milk’s high fat content adding to the already rich drink.

    • Coconut milk is a perfect addition, that’s right. It goes great with the exotic flavor of the drink. Although the fat content might be high, those are more of the “good” fats (instead of the saturated fats). One glass of coconut infused drink will for sure fill you up for some time and provide you with energy. So a nice dash of it would be a good match, I’d say 🙂

  12. I love yogurt, but I have never tried it as a drink. Haha, I’m boring that way. In my defense, I just love the taste of plain yogurt.
    Anyhow, as I come from a tropical country, any refreshing drink is very much welcome. Admittedly, I am very much curious about having salty and spicy drink before. First time to hear of Namkin.

    • You could start the New Year with the intent to try something new and drink your yogurt this time 🙂 I know what you mean and I agree that one likes to stick to the things one is used to! You could start with a sweet version, or only prepare a small amount of the Namkin-variety. Salty drinks are quite unusual, aren’t they? Except of several cocktails (like Bloody Mary), nothing else comes to my mind. So it’s definitely worth a try to see if you like it.

  13. I had a lassi a couple of times in an Indian restaurant, but never tried to make one at home. It seems pretty easy and I would enjoy experimenting with sweet and spicy flavors. The yoghurt makes it quite filling, so I think I would enjoy it as an afternoon ‘snack’ on a hot day.

    • That’s right, it is a filling drink. Like you suggest, it is a perfect solution on a hot day when one is in need of a refreshing, but not too rich meal. This is fruity and fills you up. Hope you enjoy some lassi drinks when the right time for them has come!

  14. Lassi is one of my favorite coolers. Nothing beats the Indian heat like this beautiful drink. The seasonal fruit blended versions are to die for. While I love the really basic plain kind, mango lassi definitely tops the list. I’ve seen some restaurants make a really heavy cream blended one which is also gorgeous, but definitely not something you’d have after a big meal!

  15. Hi, I’m very interested in lassi after I drank it in a restaurant. My dad was wondering if the lassi should be made with the sparkling water instead of the milk. He is lactose intolerant and is conflicted on making it with the sparkling water or and milk.

    • You can definitely add sparkling water to include some fizz in the mix, but yogurt is a fixture of any type of lassi, and the extra liquid is used to adjust the texture. A nice alternative would be to try a non-dairy version of the milk and yogurt.

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