A lassi is a yogurt-based drink popular in India and Pakistan. Sometimes salty and sometimes sweet (Indian restaurants here in the United States usually make them with mango), lassis are often enjoyed after a spicy meal. This red currant and pomegranate lassi made with kefir is not at all traditional, but I think it makes a perfect breakfast or snack on a hot summer’s day.

Red Currant Lassi from Healthy Green Kitchen

I absolutely love pomegranate juice, but because it’s so sweet, I don’t really drink it on it’s own: I generally use it in recipes so I can cut down on the use of other sweeteners.

I’m big on cultured foods because they are naturally high in probiotics that support good digestion. Homemade yogurt is one of my favorite cultured foods, but I also enjoy making my own kefir. If you’re not familiar with it, kefir is a cultured dairy product originating from the mountains of Asia. It differs from yogurt because it cultures at room temperature and it’s made with kefir “grains” (though you can also make a version of it with a freeze-dried kefir starter like this one). Kefir is also available commercially at stores that carry natural foods.

Kefir has a somewhat tart flavor that is similar to yogurt, but it has a thinner consistency and is a bit more “fizzy”. It’s really good mixed with some fresh fruit and/or juice, so I knew it would work well in this lassi.

I’ve never made a recipe with red currants before, but I found these local ones and could not pass them up.

red currants

It was way too hot to bake anything with them, so I figured they’d get blended into this lassi, as well. Like the kefir, they are a little sour: a good match for the sweet and delicious pomegranate juice.

I added just a pinch of each of the spices in a nod to the lassi’s Indian heritage, but you can use more, if you like (or just leave them out). I used only 1 teaspoon of the pomegranate molasses because I wanted my drink more tart than sweet, but the amount you add is really up to you.

Red currants are quite high in vitamins and they are also high in fiber; POM wonderful pomegranate juice is high in anti-oxidants. When combined with the super healthy kefir, you end up with a lovely pink drink that is extremely good for you, and extremely refreshing, too.

Red currants do contain tiny seeds, and these add a slight chunky quality to this drink, so you’ll need to chew it a little. If you prefer a completely smooth lassi, you can strain the seeds out (I think a fine mesh strainer would work) after you blend it.

Recipe for Lassi with Red Currants and Pomegranate Juice

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

*3/4 cup pomegranate juice
*3/4 cup organic kefir (or organic plain whole milk yogurt)
*about 3/4 cup fresh red currants (or fresh berries of your choice)
*1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, raw honey or pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
*pinch of ground cinnamon, plus more to taste
*pinch of ground cardamon, plus more to taste
*pinch of ground ginger, plus more to taste

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and spices, if desired.

A few more great looking Lassi Recipes:
Mango Lassi from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Salty and Spicy Lassi from Monica Bhide
Strawberry Mint Lassi from food52

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays!

 

9 Comments

  1. 1

    Jane — July 17, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    I have some POM and kefir in my fridge. Sure wish I had some of those beautiful currents too! Will for sure try this recipe! Thanks for posting.

  2. 2

    Monet — July 17, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

    My old roommate was wonderful at making kefir, but I got spoiled with having her around and never learned how to make it myself! I really want to give it a try. I think that this recipe for lassi sounds delicious, and I can only imagine how happy my stomach would be with all of those good probiotics

  3. 3

    HoneyB — July 18, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    Very creative! I am sure this was delicious. i have not had Kefir so I am now very curious as this is not the first time I have seen it mentioned in the last few weeks. I’ll have to be on the lookout for some!

  4. 4

    Barbara @ moderncomfortfood — July 18, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    This looks wonderful, Winnie, and your recipe is on my must-try list. Because of the summer heat and humidity, I’ve been substituting yogurt-based drinks for lots of my meals lately and have been looking for new ideas. Lucky you to have found fresh currants, which I adore but have never seen here in the US. Yum.

  5. 5

    A Teenage Gourmet — July 18, 2010 @ 5:35 am

    I love Kefir! Except . . . I don’t think that I pronounce it correctly. KEEfer? KEFer? I don’t know. =/

  6. 6

    gwen — July 18, 2010 @ 10:19 am

    We love Kefir here! I’m lazy and buy the pomagranate flavored Kefir ;-) I am on my way to the refridgerator right not to add these spices to it! I’ve never seen fresh currants at our stores here. ;-(

  7. 7

    Alta — July 18, 2010 @ 10:23 am

    I just got a bunch of samples of POM too! Love them in smoothies. This sounds great. Wish I knew where to get fresh currants. Yum.

  8. 8

    Carol Egbert — July 19, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    This looks lovely, cool and refreshing. I wish I had a glass filled to the brim. Thanks for a great post!

  9. 9

    Jason Phelps — July 21, 2010 @ 8:52 am

    What a cool spin on this drink. Thanks for the educational info as well.

    Jason

Leave a Comment