Yogurt Drinks

I use to making yogurt smoothies with my kids when they were growing up (basically yogurt, banana, fruit, sweetener and whatever else). These were possibly not the easiest to digest with “heavy” store bought yogurt and too many other ingredients that didn’t go the best together. These yogurt drink combinations are lighter and easier to digest. The can also act as digestives and promote healing depending on how you customize the herbs. They are simple to make and refreshing to drink. I’m a convert and prefer them to blender smoothies.

Yogurt Drinks

Throughout history yogurt beverages have been enjoyed. They are consumed as a refreshing beverage between meals, or sometimes at the end of the meal. There are so many options, from simply adding salt to including sweeteners and/or various spice and herb combinations. Even a chocolate recipe. You can easily customize the drink to your liking.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Global, South Indian
Keyword: Chocolate lassi, Salt lassi, Savory lassi, Sweet lassi, Tarka, Traditional lassi, Yogurt, Yogurt drink
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 73kcal


For base recipe

  • 1/2 cup water adjust per your liking (the greater the ratio of water, the lighter the drink)
  • 1/2 cup fresh homemade yogurt
  • 1 pinch rock salt e.g. Himalayan, Indian black salt

Possible additions for a savory drink (aka salt lassi, lassi, traditional lassi)

  • 1 pinch black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 pinch fresh ginger grated
  • 1 pinch cumin freshly ground or dry roasted & ground
  • 1 pinch coriander freshly ground or dry roasted & ground
  • 1/4 tsp freshly chopped cilantro (corriander) leaves for garnish, (ground corriander will also work)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly chopped mint leaves for garnish, (dryed will also work)

Possible additions for a sweet drink

  • 1 tbsp sweetner jaggery, brown sugar, maple syrup – no honey
  • 1/4 tsp caradamon power optional
  • 2 drops vanilla flavoring optional, vanilla extract will work, but contains alcohol and there is no cooking to dissapate the alcohol
  • 3 drops rose water optional
  • 1/4 tsp freshly chopped mint leaves for garnish, optional (dryed will also work)

Possible additions for chocolate drink

  • 1 tsp cocoa ex: Frontier cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
  • 1 tbsp sweetner optional, jaggery, brown sugar, maple syrup – no honey

Additions for tarka (a digestive, comsumed at the end of a meal)

  • 1 pinch cumin freshly ground or dry roasted & ground
  • 1 pinch coriander freshly ground or dry roasted & ground


  • Mix salt and spices into yogurt
  • Add desired amount of water
  • Garnish with fresh leaves as desired
  • Enjoy


Oldest traditions are from ex-Yugoslavia to Central Asia. The drinks were simple and savory (just salt and perhaps dried mint). Yogurt drinks from India can be a bit more elaborate with more herbs, spices and sweeteners.
Your mixing method depends on your ingredients. The simple savory lassi works great stirring with a spoon. Other variations can be harder to mix (e.g. you might want a whisk for the chocolate lassi). In general, the best texture is obtained when whisking, not blending. Use handheld whisk, milk frother, electric mixing rod or fork.
Simple savory lassi
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint – fresh or dried
Chocolate lassi
For a more potent brew, combine cocoa with milk at beginning of fermentation. Keep a pure starter.
Sweet lassi
Combine sweetener with yogurt and let it sit for an hour. The flavor will be more complex then just combing sweetener with yogurt and drinking immediately.
A digestive, consumed after a meal, and only a small amount (1/4 – 3/4 cup). Much more diluted than a lassi (~2 tbsp yogurt to 1/4 cup water). This makes it “lighter” and easier to digest. Water should be at room temperature, not cold (cold would damper your digestive fire). Tarkas includes digestive spices and there is synergy with the yogurt and spices. Great year round after lunch and dinner.

Special thanks

Ed Kaspar
Swathi’s recipes

Have you tried this recipe? Do you have comments, questions, or suggestions? Have you consumed it regularly? Have you noticed anything? Please share your wisdom by leaving a comment below.

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