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Salt lassi.jpg
Lassi serving
Alternative namesLaasi, Lachhi, taak, chhah
Place of originIndian subcontinent
Associated national cuisineCuisine of the Indian subcontinent
Serving temperatureChilled
Main ingredientsDahi (yogurt), cream, water and spices
Variationskachi lassi

Lassi (pronounced [ləsːi]) is a regional name for buttermilk,[1] the traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink in the Indian subcontinent. Lassi is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. Salty lassi is similar to doogh, while modern sweet lassi is like milkshakes. Lassi may be infused with cannabis in the form of bhang.


Lassi is derived from the Sanskrit word Lasika (लसिका) meaning serous or saliva like.[2][3]Alternatively, it is also spelled as Lāsī (Laasi).[4] Lassi originated in Punjab.[5]


Lassi is prepared by blending yogurt, water, and other spices. However, variations of lassi can be prepared in different ways. Cumin and cardamom are the most common spices added to lassi.[5] Lassi is traditionally served in a clay cup known as kulhar.[5]


Mint sweet lassi or Chaas
Lassi in an earthen tumbler
Benaras-ki-lassi, a style of lassi

Sweet lassi[edit]

Sweet lassi is a form of lassi flavoured with sugar, rosewater or lemon, strawberry or other fruit juices. Saffron lassis, which are particularly rich, are a specialty of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India and Sindh province of Pakistan. Makkhaniya lassi is simply lassi with lumps of butter in it.[6] It is usually creamy like a milkshake.

Salted lassi[edit]

The traditional namkeen (or salty) form of lassi is more common in the Indian subcontinent. It is prepared by blending dahi (yogurt) with water with added salt. The resulting beverage is known as salted lassi.

Bhang lassi[edit]

Bhang lassi is a cannabis-infused drink that contains bhang, a liquid derivative of cannabis, which has effects similar to other eaten forms of cannabis.[7] It is legal in many parts of India and mainly sold during Holi, when pakoras containing bhang are also sometimes eaten. Uttar Pradesh is known to have licensed bhang shops, and in many places, one can buy bhang products and drink bhang lassis.[8]

Cultural references[edit]

A street lassi shop

A 2008 print[9] and television[10][11] ad campaign for HSBC, written by Jeffree Benet of JWT Hong Kong, tells a tale of a Polish washing machine manufacturer's representative sent to India to discover why their sales are so high there. On arriving, the representative investigates a lassi parlor, where he is warmly welcomed, and finds several washing machines being used to mix it. The owner tells him he is able to "make ten times as much lassi as I used to!"

On his No Reservations television program, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain visited a "government authorised" bhang shop in Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan. The proprietor offered him three varieties of bhang lassi: normally strong; super duper strong; and "full power, 24 hours, no toilet, no shower".

In 2013, Kshitij, the annual techno-management fest of IIT Kharagpur, launched a campaign to name the next version of the mobile operating system Android, Lassi.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Indian Journal of Medical Research. Indian Research Fund Association. 1938.
  2. ^ McGregor, R. S. (1993). "The Oxford Hindi-English dictionary". Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Mahrotra, Ramesh Chander (2000-01-01). Manak Hindi Ke Shuddh-Prayog-V-3 (in Hindi). Rajkamal Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7119-472-8.
  4. ^ Dasa, Syamasundara (1965–1975). "Hindi sabdasagara". Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  5. ^ a b c "lassi | beverage | Britannica". Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  6. ^ Masica, Colin (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-521-29944-2.
  7. ^ Staelens, Stefanie. "The Bhang Lassi Is How Hindus Drink Themselves High for Shiva". Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  8. ^ Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Collection 2, Episode 5; Final Segment.
  9. ^ "Can This Lassi Ad Really Be True?". 2008-10-04.
  10. ^ "HSBC Bank : Washing Machine and Lassi". Adoholik. 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
  11. ^ "HSBC Lassi/Washing Machines TV Ad". HSBC. 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
  12. ^ TOI Tech (11 Sep 2013). "IIT grads plead Google to name Android version Lassi - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-12-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)