Radha Bhatia, author and Chairperson, Bird Group, on Thursday launched “Lassis of India – Smoothies with a Twist” in London. The interactive evening was held at Nehru Centre, London and featured a delightful Lassi tasting session and a panel discussion with guest speakers; food blogger Mira Manek and author of Prajna, Ayuvedic rituals for happiness and recipe book Saffron Soul; Michelin-starred chef Rohit Ghai of Chelsea’s Kutir restaurant; Professor at London School of Economics Ian Angell. The discussion was moderated by Rohit Agarwal. Lassi, a staple yoghurt drink that accompanies the diversified Indian cuisine because of its sublime taste and therapeutic properties.
A successful entrepreneur running several multifaceted businesses is just one of the many roles that Radha Bhatia has been juggling for decades. A wife, mother, grandmother, champion of women empowerment, she’s also an accomplished cook.
The book which is an amalgamation of recipes and stories and has undergone an extensive research which explores Indian cultural roots, local customs, climate and cuisines, featuring a compilation of 17 traditional recipes from various states blending with the local food and climate. The other 57 recipes are lassis with a twist – prepared with herbs, fruits and nuts, which appeal to a younger generation. All the recipes in the book are simple to follow and intended for those who love to cook at home.
During the launch Mrs Bhatia said, “Lassis of India is an attempt to revive our age-old elixir with a twist of contemporary blends along with the traditional recipes to suit the modern lifestyle. While unearthing the recipes, it led me to many mythological stories and interesting folk lore - starting from the mythical story of the origin of Charnamrit (holy water) by churning of the oceans by Gods and Demons and thus making a delightful discovery. This is the first ever book that focuses on Lassis and also encapsulates the health benefits of its consumption.
“Research has shown that probiotics can keep your intestines happy and have a healing effect on the gut walls. They also improve your body’s ability to fight infection, a wonderful quality for any food to have in these polluted times People today are juggling between a fast-paced hectic life and healthy eating habits, these recipes ranging from ‘Meethi Lassi’ of Punjab to ‘Talicha More’ of Tamil Nadu present as a healthy alternative and also includes herbs, fruits, and nuts. With their own unique tastes, the lassis are light on the stomach, refreshing to drink and aid smooth digestion.”
Sharing his unique idea about Lassi, famed journalist, Mr. Vir Sanghvi who has done extensive research on fondness for yoghurt and in different countries has written in his foreword “Dahi (Yoghurt) essentially cools the body. It is extremely versatile and can be used to make beverages as well as desserts. It is also very beneficial to the digestive system. The most uniquely Indian invention from Dahi is Lassi and this book perfectly captures the Indian romance with yoghurts with its wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures. This book is an extension of the grand tradition of yoghurt drinks”.
The proceeds from book sales was donated to Mrs Bhatia’s chosen charity, Consortium for Street Children.