red currant and rose lassi recipe

Pushkar... colourfully adorned camels, streets lined with delicious sweets, mountain monkeys swinging outside my window, rose and amla lassi...  is what my dear friend Grace wrote while on a recent trip to India. I remember it well, even though it's been well over 10 years since I stepped foot on Indian soil. I remember with great clarity the camels, their smelly breath and lolloping stride. I could never forget the towers of sweets almost too pretty to eat. I remember the monkeys coming out to play, especially when the rain fell, but rose and amla lassi? How mad was I not to try this, and... what's amla?
A little searching later and I had uncovered that amla is in fact an Indian gooseberry, a fruit the size of a lemon with a very sour, astringent taste that is sometimes even used to straighten hair! Knowing I'd probably never get my hands on amla here in Australia I still went on thinking about the wonderful rose lassi Grace had spoke of with ideas of making my own.
Being a rose lassi I wanted a touch of pretty pink (nothing to do with the fact it's Valentines Day today, really) and after inspecting my freezer for usable berries I set eyes on a bag of red currants. Bingo! Sour, yes. Astringent, yes. Pink, yes
The red currant and rose lassi was born.

The kids and I have been enjoying this for an after school snack the past few days and there's always a fight over who gets the last drop. My recipe makes approximately 650mls which I could happily drink all to myself, but it can stretch to 2-3 smaller serves if you are forced. Or you (I'm speaking to myself here) could stop being stingy and just double the lot!
If red currants are a thing you don't usually have at hand (to be honest, mine were in the bottom of a bag of what used to be mixed berries) simply use strawberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen. A little note on the sweetner in this lassi too, I've tried making it with both raw unrefined sugar and brown rice syrup, both were delicious and just add to taste. If you're into using other sweeteners, I'm guessing agave would work great and honey too, but just note if using honey the final flavours of the lassi will change. Not necessarily in a bad way though.
For more lassi goodness check out my:
mango and cardamom lassi recipe and another story about Grace!

red currant and rose lassi
If red currants aren't available swap in a few raspberries or strawberries, fresh or frozen. I favour using brown rice syrup or raw sugar to sweeten lassi's, but feel free to use you own favourite sweetener. Agave would work good too, as would honey, although be aware it will change the final flavour of the lassi. We obviously tolerate yoghurt these days, but if you avoid lactose strictly, source a good lactose-free yoghurt.
makes approx 650ml (serves, you decide).

  • 1 1/2 cups (365g) thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup red currants, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) iced water
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown rice syrup, raw unrefined sugar or other sweetener, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 cup ice, cubes or crushed
  • finely chopped pistachio nuts to serve, optional

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and gorgeous. Pour into chilled glasses, sprinkle with pistachios and drink immediately.

Linked to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-free

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  • Reply
    Emily @LivingLongfellow
    February 14, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I LOVE lossi, and always think about ordering it every time I'm out for Indian food. I had no idea what was in it. Looks fairly simple, though I don't have any idea where to find some of those ingredients. Did you go to your local market or a specialty store?

    • Reply
      February 14, 2012 at 4:18 am

      What ingredients do you think you'd have trouble finding? I buy my red currants frozen from the supermarket (they are just in a bag of mixed berries that I pick out, but see note above about using strawberries or raspberries if currants aren't available), brown rice (malt) syrup from the health food store or supermarket, but see my note above about alternative sweeteners if you don't have brown rice syrup, and you should be able to find rose water at your local Indian grocery store, or anywhere that stocks Middle Eastern products. I hope you can track them all down. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Mairi @ Toast
    February 14, 2012 at 6:17 am

    It looks so pretty. I have just discovered coconut sugar thinking that would be a great way to sweeten it too.

    • Reply
      February 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Coconut sugar is beautiful aye. I'm sure it would be lovely in this lassi xx

  • Reply
    February 14, 2012 at 8:29 am

    This has to be your most beauteous post yet! I love the pink and green together, so gorgeous. Makes me want to go out and buy litres of plain yoghurt. Or even better, zoom off to India…Happy Valentine's Day 😀

    • Reply
      February 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Thanks love, same to you! I'd be keen to zoom of to India right now if I could 😉

  • Reply
    erin @ yummy supper
    February 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Emma, sadly, I've never had the chance to visit India, but for some reason ( maybe the Hindu connection) lassis were really popular in Bali. Rose was always my favorite. I love your recipe and it is perfect for Valentine's Day.

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    February 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I love things that have a nice tartness to them, and rose is one of my very favourite flavours ever. Yumm, great recipe and I bet it tastes good even without the camels 🙂

  • Reply
    February 15, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Perfect, I love Lassi and don't make it often enough. Looks pretty as a picture too. Alli@peasepudding

  • Reply
    February 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I work at a restaurant and a coworker of mine was just going on about how great rose water was in a lassi. creapy. I think I manifested this post! I think this just sounds so lovely. I look forward to trying it out!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Wow, this looks amazing! I love rose, especially in lassi. It's pink and lovely and sweet, perfect for St Valentine's day!

  • Reply
    England Furniture
    February 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    A beautiful and tasty dish with a touch of pink. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Reply
    Laura Friendly
    February 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    This looks lovely! Your photography is becoming even more beautiful. 🙂

    • Reply
      February 16, 2012 at 5:22 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sherilyn @ Wholepromise
    February 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Sounds like a great way to start the day.

  • Reply
    Domestic Executive
    February 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    This looks glorious and a brilliant way to celebrate what's left of summer.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

    What a gorgeous recipe, especially the addition of rose water! My friend has told me I need to try rose water, but I still have not. This Lassi makes me want to try it right away, the flavor combination is gorgeous! Take care, Terra

  • Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 7:27 am

    This looks incredible! I'm a teensy bit obsessed with rosewater and pistachios at the moment, and oh what a fabulous creation this looks to be! Bravo 🙂

  • Reply
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    March 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

    wow, this has taken my breath away! Completely divine!
    Heidi xo

  • Reply
    Carly Findlay
    April 20, 2013 at 6:42 am

    This looks delicious and I must try it. Your blog is beautiful – so glad I found it via Voices of 2013.

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