This is not meant to sound sad–if it does, I’m sorry–but sometimes when you’ve committed to cooking at home, to not spending all your money on take-out and restaurants, to eating leftovers and using up the last of that millet you bought too optimistically long ago, sometimes there’s not quite enough to fill out a plate.
What I mean to say is that if there’s a smidgeon of fried rice from yesterday, I’ll eat it for lunch, even if it’s not quite enough to be all of lunch. Otherwise, where would my beloved fried rice go? Not the trash!
So, some noontimes find me acting like a scavenger, scanning the fridge for something to make a half meal into a whole meal. A new trick for when I need to supplement skimpy portions is to pair a small portion with a big glass of banana lassi.
You may have made, or drunk, a mango lassi, perhaps at an Indian restaurant. Those are delicious drinks–earthy and sweet and thick (here’s a batido de mango, sort of a South American version). A banana lassi is more pedestrian, more everyday. It’s simple enough to eat with almost any cuisine but tasty enough that you won’t feel sad that your lunch is well, sad. Or it was, before you made the lassi.
What strikes me every time I blend one of these up (the whole process takes about a minute and a half) is how totally different it tastes from any other kind of banana-based smoothie or milkshake–and I’ve drunk a lot of banana shakes in my life. The yogurt contributes the most delightful tang, which sets off the caramelized notes of a ripe banana. A sprinkle of ground cardamom makes this otherworldly.
You’ll want to tweak my recipe according to the ripeness of your banana (and whether you froze it), the tanginess and thickness of your yogurt, and of course your preferences.
- ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt (I use Fage Total)
- 1 ripe banana, fresh or frozen
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch salt
- 3 ice cubes (optional, if bananas weren't frozen)
- ¼ to ½ cup whole milk
- up to 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- Combine the yogurt, banana, cardamom, salt, ice cubes if using, and smaller amount of milk. If your banana didn't have brown spots, you'll likely want to start with a drizzle of honey. Blend to make a thick shake, adding more milk as needed to thin. Taste, adding more milk, ice, honey, or salt as needed, then blend again. Pour into a glass and drink.