Saturday, June 04, 2005

Lassi-Faire

A few nights ago, I sat down with my cooking notebooks to pull out some new recipes for summer.

That's right, notebooks plural. In addition to the shelf of cookbooks (and I try to keep it down to one shelf, rotating titles on and off and trying not to go too far overboard in my love of cookbooks), I have four three-ring binders, divided into categories, that contain not only my cookbook as developed over the years but also various recipes I've torn out of magazines or copied from other people's collections. That's a lot of recipes. So it gets a little difficult to find things sometimes.

The point is, that's why I decided to pull out all the recipes that used good summer produce and have yet to be tested in my kitchen. With a superb budding sous chef by my side and eager taste testers not far behind, I feel certain that I can experiment with several of these dishes this summer.

Some recipes, though, sound a little more unusual, so I thought perhaps I'd better try them just for myself first. And among those was a recipe that would use the leftover watermelon from a recent picnic with my Wonderful Parents... in short, watermelon lassi.

Lassi, the yogurt drink that helps cool you down when you're eating hot (but good!) Indian food, does come in various flavors. I've had the plain sweet lassi, a salty ginger lassi that was just too potent for me, rich mango lassis (my favorite), and most recently, a homemade mango-date lassi. But watermelon? Who'd'a thunk it?

But hey, I like watermelon, so I decided to give it a whirl and to hope for something refreshing on a very warm day. Like other lassis, it's easy to throw it together... just blend! ...and the resulting concoction was a gorgeous blush pink, almost as if I had used strawberries instead.

The verdict? A satisfying sweet drink, astonishingly rich, and flavorful yet mellow. I wouldn't want too much of it too often, but I feel that way about lassis in general. And I do think I'll make it again the next time I make Indian food (NOTE: and that happened the very next day!).

Watermelon Lassi

Modified from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, this recipe makes two lassis. Modify at will!

4 c seeded watermelon chunks
1 c plain yogurt
4 to 6 T sugar
large pinch of cardamom
large pinch of salt
juice of 1 lime

In blender, mix watermelon, yogurt, sugar, cardamom, salt, and lime juice on high speed until smooth. Pour into ice-filled glass. Serve!

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