Sweet Rose Lassi is perfect for a romantic date night, Galentine's Day with the girls, or for a floral-scented cooling drink during the summer! This lassi is flavored with roses and cardamom to make a delicious vibrant pink drink.
You may have heard of Mango Lassis, but have you ever tried a Rose Lassi? It's the sister drink of the mango version, and you'll definitely find this version at some restaurants as well!
Rose Lassi's are delightfully sweet, floral-scented, and just a bit tangy from dahi (curd). They're a vibrant pink from Rooh Afza, which is a popular herbal rose syrup in the Indian subcontinent.
It's perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day drink, Galentine's Day with your best girlfriends, or for a cooling drink during hot summer nights.
What is Lassi?
Did you know lassi is a type of drink in the Indian subcontinent?
Lassi is a yogurt-based drink that originates from the Indian subcontinent. It's typically made sweet, or sometimes even salty with a blend of yogurt, milk, spices, and fruit or some type of flavoring.
Mango Lassi is the most popular version, but you can also find rose lassis or salty (namkeen) lassis at Indian restaurants. There are also fruity lassis like Strawberry Lassi that are popular around the U.S.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Rose lassi is made with the base ingredients of yogurt, milk, and rose water. It's very similar to a yogurt smoothie, except this is much thinner.
From there, the additions are ultimately up to you to customize your lassi.
- Rose water / Rose Syrup: Rose water is an absolute must for a Rose Lassi. Make sure it's edible, and not meant for skincare. I recommend supplementing it with a rose syrup for extra flavor and adding color to the lassi. I highly recommend Rooh Afza, which is a popular herbal rose syrup.
- Dairy: Plain whole milk yogurt, like Indian dahi, is the best but you can use low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt. Milk thins out the lassi for a thinner consistency, but it can be omitted or substituted with water depending on your desired consistency. I recommend whole milk. To make this lassi vegan, you can use a plain vegan yogurt of your choice (coconut is preferred) and almond or cashew milk.
- Sweetener: I don't add any sweetener to this lassi, because the rose syrup already adds sweetness. Add powdered sugar to taste if you'd like it sweeter.
- Spices: Roses and cardamom are one of my favorite flavor combos. I like to use freshly ground cardamom for rose lassis for fresh fragrance and flavor. I also garnish with additional dried rose petals and slivered pistachios for a really pretty drink.
Which Yogurt to use
We typically use dahi for lassis, which is yogurt or curd prepared in the Indian subcontinent using cow's whole milk and a yogurt culture (starter). My mom makes fresh dahi at home just about every week. The dahi in India is so rich, creamy, and tangy from using fresh cow's milk.
Making dahi involves bringing whole milk to a boil, aerating the milk, and then adding a yogurt culture to the warm milk and then continuing to aerate. The milk is then covered for up to 3 hours in a warm place until it's a thick creamy consistency.
Whichhh is why lassis are so delicious! If you can find dahi at your local Indian grocer, I would highly recommend using it. I've even seen it at Stop & Shop and other large grocers! Otherwise, use plain Greek yogurt like Fage 5%.
How to make Rose Lassi
This recipe truly takes less than 5 minutes. Just toss it all into a blender until it's smooth, then it's ready to serve!
- Add the yogurt, milk, rosewater, rose syrup, and cardamom and blend until smooth. I recommend a Vitamix.
- The consistency will be thinner than a smoothie or mango lassi. If you scoop it with a spoon, it should still pour as a steady stream so that you could still drink it through a straw. Adjust the consistency by adding more milk to thin it out or ice cubes to thicken it.
- Pour the lassi into tall serving glasses. Keep it chilled until it's ready to serve.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios and rose petals.
As an avid lassi drinker over the past few decades, here are my recommendations:
- Freshly ground cardamom gives the best aroma and flavor enhancement
- Use dahi if possible, otherwise use full fat plain yogurt
- Whole milk gives the best taste and consistency
How to Serve
Rose Lassis are supposed to be a cooling drink - whether it's hot in the summer or battling spicy food. The point is, it should be chilled when served but we don't use ice in this recipe.
They're perfect for a romantic date night or to entertain kids with the bright pink color!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, use the same amount of plain Greek yogurt, preferably with some fat content, instead of dahi. Use milk to adjust the thickness.
Absolutely! I recommend coconut yogurt and almond or cashew milk as alternatives.
Yes, lassi requires yogurt. It's a yogurt-based drink. If you omit the yogurt, you're making a smoothie.
I recommend Rooh Afza, which can be found at any Indian grocer. Gulkand, or rose petal preserve, is also a great substitute.
Rooh Afza, or the rose syrup, is what lends the lassi a bright pink color. If you don't have it on hand, add a bit of pink food coloring.
Definitely not. Cardamom simply enhances the flavor and fragrance but you can omit it. Freshly ground cardamom is the best!
Add all the ingredients to a blender and run it until it's smooth. Adjust for consistency.
Store the lassi in a large covered pitcher in the fridge for up to a day. Give it another mix before serving.
Use the recipe card to increase the serving size. Add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. You may have to do several batches depending on the amount of lassis you'd like to make.
Transfer the lassi to large pitchers with lids. Serve in tall glasses with ice.
More Indian Drinks to try
- Add the dahi, whole milk, rose syrup, rose water, and ground cardamom to a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Pour into tall glasses. Garnish with rose petals and slivered pistachios.
- Serve chilled.
- Substitute dahi with plain full fat yogurt.
- Rooh Afza adds all the sweetener that you'll need, but add powdered sugar to taste if you'd like a sweeter lassi.