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Cumin Lassi

Simple recipe for a savoury yoghurt drink.

Suitable for vegetarians

Cumin Lassi


Savoury lassi originates in the Punjab and is a very popular drink in the north of India. Sometimes lassi is as simple as mixing yoghurt, water and salt. This is a version which incorporates the earthy flavours of roasted, ground cumin.

We prefer to use live, set yoghurt. This thick, tangy yoghurt gives a much better flavour. Different brands of yoghurt are different weights and consistencies, so we usually empty the yoghurt and then fill up the empty tub halfway with water. If you use bog-standard natural yoghurt, you may want to add slightly less water to get the right consistency.

We like to serve it with a meal (especially with spicy food) or in shot glasses as a little pre-dinner taster.

  1. Toast the cumin seeds for 2 - 3 minutes in a dry, hot pan. They should darken in colour and begin to smell nutty. Remove from the pan, and allow to cool before grinding.
  2. In a jug, mix together the yoghurt and water until fully combined. The consistency should be pourable (and drinkable!), but still have a thickness (almost like a smoothie). If it’s too thick, add a little more water.
  3. Stir through the cumin and a pinch of salt. Give it a taste, and add more salt if desired. Keep chilled until ready to drink. If you like, more cumin can be sprinkled on top once poured into glasses.