This version of lassia traditional North Indian beverage made by blending yogurt with water, spices, and sometimes fruitis mainly colored and flavored by saffron, a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus). Cardamom, the aromatic seeds of a plant in the ginger family, adds additional stimulation.
4 whole cardamom pods
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled, plus 2 pinches for garnish
1/2 cup boiling water
11/2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar
4 medium ice cubes
1. Crack open the cardamom pods, empty their seeds into a small bowl, and toss in the pods. Add the saffron threads and boiling water. Stir well and let stand until the liquid has cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
2. With a fork, remove the cardamom pods from the water and discard, leaving the seeds in the water. Place the cardamom-saffron water, yogurt, coconut milk, and agave nectar in a blender and process for 30 seconds to mix well.
3. Immediately before serving, add the ice to the blender and puree until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Taste for sweetness and add more agave nectar if you like. Serve in 2 tall, slender glasses, garnishing each with a pinch of saffron.
This recipe was created by Bryant Terry, who uses the sensual pleasures of the table to inspire people to contribute to building a healthier, just, and sustainable food system. Terry is the author of Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen. This recipe was originally published in Eco-Sex.
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