a drinkable dessert
The Indian cuisine offers a wonderful selection of cooling summer drinks that serve both as appetizers and dessert. Popular drinks included Sharbat: a drink made with flower petals and water or cold flavored milk preparations mixed with sweet basil seeds, but the sweetest ambassador of Indian drinks remains the popular lassi.
Lassi is traditionally a cold serving of homemade yogurt blended with either sugar and if desired, fresh fruits or with salt and spices. This particular sweet Lassi combines three unusual ingredients – figs, holy basil and sweet basil seeds with a cooling yogurt. We make lassi several times in summer but this Fig and Tulsi Lassi has become our favorite way to enjoy figs as well. It makes for a beautiful, tasty, elegant and memorable summer drink that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Here is how you too can enjoy it at home.
Makes: 8 half cup servings
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: nil
Calories per serving: 169
3 cups plain Greek yogurt
8 Black Mission figs, stems trimmed
1 cup cold water
2 – 4 tbsp sugar
15 leaves of fresh holy basil or fresh mint
¼ cup sliced almonds, for garnish
3 tablespoons honey, for garnish
1 tsp sweet basil seeds, for garnish, optional
Combine the yogurt and figs to a smooth puree in a blender. While the motor is still running, slowly pour in the cold water, ¼ cup at a time until fully combined. Add 2 tablespoons sugar to start with. Blend and taste for sweetness. The natural sweetness of the figs and yogurt will determine if you need more sugar. Once the desired sweetness is achieved, add the holy basil leaves and give it one last blend. Check again for sweetness and adjust if needed. All the ingredients should be well combined now. The holy basil leaves can also be reserved until just before serving as part of the garnish. Pour the lassi into tall drinking glasses or champagne flutes to show off the color; garnish with sliced almonds, drizzle honey on top and sprinkle some sweet basil seeds if using any.
From Curry Cravings™ book 'A Dozen Ways to Celebrate: Twelve Decadent Indian Feasts for the Culinary Indulgent', available on iBooks & Amazon