Watered down, not cold enough, coarse, or just bland. I’ll admit, I’ve had many a mediocre Lassi. It wasn’t until I tasted my brother-in-law’s version that I realized how good a classic Punjabi Lassi can be. This is my take on his Sweet Lassi recipe – creamy, smooth, frothy perfection.

Pouring frothy sweet lassi into a glass.

“You have delivered a gem once again. Thank you.”

Sana

It’s been over 3 years since I first published this Sweet Lassi recipe. Since then, I’ve had countless commendable Lassis, most recently alongside Halwa Puri at Bundu Khan in Lahore, Pakistan. But I’ve yet to meet one I liked more than this original version. 

This recipe is inspired by my brother in law’s Lassi. When I first tasted it, I was taken aback by how well-balanced it was. The consistency was not too thin or thick. The taste was not too sweet or too tart. It was smooth. It was rejuvenating. It was perfect.

Sweet Lassi in clear glasses with a copper ring.

Tips for the Best Sweet Lassi

Here’s what made his version so special:

  • Foamy & frothy: Before blenders were a thing, lassi was poured from one jug to another to create the signature froth. Thanks to blenders, now you can get the same froth sans arm workout. 
  • Creamy & Smooth: My brother-in-law’s secret ingredient was a touch of whipping cream, which made the Lassi rich and silky without being heavy.
  • Cold: Temperature is one of the most overlooked aspects of a good Lassi, which is why ice is a required ingredient (I’ve even given the quantity in grams).
Lassi in glasses with a bowl of sugar on the side.

What is Lassi?

Lassi is a Pakistani and Indian drink made with plain yogurt and other flavorings. There are countless variations of lassi (it’s very much hit or miss at restaurants), and it can be sweet, salty, or fruity. Though Mango Lassi is much better-known worldwide, plain Lassi, whether salted or sweet, is still more prevalent in Pakistani and Indian homes.

Lassi is popular in the summer, but to me, it’s kind of like ice cream – very appropriate year-round. There’s nothing quite like downing a warm plate of Halwa Poori or Nihari with an utterly refreshing glass of lassi.

Lassi in glasses with a jug on the side.

History and Origins of Lassi

Lassi originated from my ancestral region of Punjab in India and Pakistan. Traditionally, people would use a wooden churner (madhani – pronounced mudh-ah-ni) to whisk Lassi in a clay pot (kujja). If you’re curious, here’s a video showing the traditional way of making lassi. Besides homemade yogurt (or curd), the only other ingredients in a classic Lassi were water, ice, and salt (or sugar).

Lassi served as a cooling respite against the intense summer heat of Punjab. Though Sweet Lassi was more of a breakfast beverage, Salted Lassi was thinner and served all day, even with meals.

Fun Fact: Because buffalo milk was more common in Punjab than cow’s milk, Lassi was (and in many places still is) made with buffalo milk yogurt instead of cow’s milk yogurt. Buffalo milk has a higher fat content, so that you can actually see the oil on top of the cup of chai. The yogurt from buffalo milk is therefore richer and creamier.

Frothy Lassi in a clear modern glass.

Ingredients You’ll Need

My brother-in-law describes the recipe as something like, “half a tub of yogurt, less than a third of the heavy whipping cream…the small box, lots of milk, and lots of sugar.”

Like him, most people don’t use a recipe when making lassi, but I find it’s all in the ratios. Using the same ingredients, variations in quantities yield different results.

Ingredients for Lassi in bowls on a marbled surface.

Here’s more about the ingredients and how to adjust them as needed:

  • Yogurt: Use plain, whole milk yogurt. Because yogurt can vary in its thickness and tartness, you may need to adjust the liquid and sugar quantities in the recipe.
  • Ice cubes: Serves to properly chill the lassi and slightly dilute the yogurt. In traditional versions, there were little bits and traces of ice, which were quite enjoyable.
  • Milk: Thins it out while adding richness and balance. If you like your a thicker lassi, feel free to decrease the amount of milk.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Amplifies the creamy base (a must for a good lassi) and enhances smoothness. Substitute with half & half or if you’re going light, skip it altogether.
  • Sugar: You can make it as sweet or unsweet as you’d like, depending on your ingredients & preferences.

How to Make Sweet Lassi

Since we’re using plenty of ice, a powerful blender helps. For regular blenders, you may have to partly crush the ice with the milk first.

  • Add ingredients in a blender and blend until no longer icy. If you’d like to keep some of the bits of ice, blend for a shorter time.
Milk, whipping cream, yogurt, ice, and sugar added in a blender.
  • It’ll naturally become frothy on top.
Lassi in a blender after being blended.
  • Taste and add sugar for sweetness, yogurt for more tart flavor, ice to make it cooler.
The froth that gathers on the top of Lassi.
  • Pour into two large glasses or 3-4 small. This recipe makes around 4 cups (32 oz), so 2 large lassis or 4 kid-size, though my kids usually demand more than 8 oz.
Pouring Yogurt Lassi into a clear, copper-lined glass.

How To Store Lassi

Lassi keeps well in the fridge, which is why restaurants often have it ready-to-go. To store, cover with a lid and refrigerate for 12-18 hours before it starts losing freshness. Stir or shake again before serving.

Lassi in glasses topped with fresh. mint for garnish.

How and When to Serve Sweet Lassi

Sweet Lassi is usually served alongside breakfast or brunch or as a refreshment between meals. Ice in the recipe ensures that it’s served chilled. If you’re going fancy, you can serve in glasses garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Holding a glass of frothy lassi garnished with mint.

Variations

Punjabi Lassi was pure and simple, but it adapts well to so many variations:

  • Pinch of salt: For yogurt Lassi, either salt or sugar was used, not both. But if you like, you can add a pinch of salt to offset the sweetness.
  • Rose water or kewra water: Start with 2-3 drops and increase as desired because brands vary in strength. You can also make a Rose Lassi by adding Rooh Afza (rose syrup) and decreasing the sugar.
  • Spices: Such as 1/8 tsp cardamom powder, small pinch saffron strands, or cinnamon (non-traditional).
  • Toppings: In Lahore, we had lassi topped with malai (clotted cream) and slivered almonds and pistachios.
  • Buttermilk: Try replacing the heavy whipping cream with it if you want to enhance the sour flavor.
  • Modern Lassi Flavors: If you’re willing to step into the smoothie category, try adding fruit such as strawberries or banana.
Frothy Lassi garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.

More Delicious Pakistani and Indian Drink Recipes to Try

If you try this lassi, please let me know! I’d love for you to leave a comment or rating and share it with me on Instagram. It always makes my day to see you try my recipes!

5 (20 ratings)

The Perfect Sweet Lassi Recipe

Watered down, not cold enough, coarse, or just bland. I’ll admit, I’ve had many a mediocre Lassi. It wasn't until I tasted my brother-in-law's version that I realized how good a classic Punjabi Lassi can be. This is my take on his Sweet Lassi recipe – creamy, smooth, frothy perfection.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cup (366 g) plain, whole-milk yogurt
  • 4-5 large/8-10 small (~100-130 g) ice cubes
  • 3/4-1 cup (177-237 ml) whole milk
  • 4 tbsp + 2 tsp (~62 g) cane sugar, or to taste – See Note 1
  • 3 tbsp (~44 g) heavy whipping cream, or sub half and half

Equipment

  • High-Speed Blender

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and no longer icy (~1 minute). It'll naturally become frothy on top.
  • Taste and add sugar for sweetness, ice for coolness, or 1-2 tbsp of yogurt for tartness. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 1-2 days.

Video

Notes

Note 1: Sugar – I stick to organic cane sugar, but you can try other sweeteners if you’d like. Keep in mind that it’ll slightly change the flavor. Ex. raw brown sugar will give a wonderful malt taste. You may need to use less sweetener if using less ice or milk.
Dairy-Free: I haven’t tried it myself, but I have no doubt a good quality dairy-free yogurt and your favorite dairy-free milk could make a delicious drink! I would love to hear if you do. 
Storing: To store, cover with a lid and refrigerate for 12-18 hours before it starts losing freshness. Stir or shake again before serving.
Nutrition: Per Lassi, Assuming 2 (16-oz) servings.
Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 127mg, Potassium: 444mg, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 661IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 351mg, Iron: 1mg