30. coriander garlic chaas
a must have in most indian homes
When we were travelling from Gondal to Anand on Ram navmi day, we stopped at a restaurant just near Anand to have our dinner. It was very very hot that day and I cannot remember the number of cold drinks, mainly nimbu pani and limca we all must have drunk. As we all could not fit on one big table, our family decided to occupy 5 small tables and each table ordered for themselves. On our table, Vibha bhabhi and I decided to stick to the good old water whereas Ajay and Snehalbhai ordered lassi. They both enjoyed the cool drink and Snehalbhai said ‘Vibs we should have this everyday at home.’ Vibs did look at him oddly and asked ‘ even in winter?’ And the answer was ‘ its cold outside the house not inside.’ Whether Vibs makes chaas everyday or not, its a must have in our house for lunch. Considering the weather in Mombasa, its the most cooling and invigorating drink that the Indian subcontinent has invented. It goes by many names in India. Lassi in Punjab, Chaas in Gujarat and Rajasthan, or chaach in other parts of India. The basic lassi is either salted or sweet. Variations of the humble chaas are many, served with fruits, spices, saffron, honey, herbs,makhan, fresh cream and even bhang. I really don’t like the sweet variety but love the coriander garlic one. The proportion of yogurt to water varies in most households, but I prefer the not so watery type.
CORIANDER GARLIC CHAAS
1 cup of yogurt
1 cup of cold water
1/2 cup of fresh chopped coriander
8 curry leaves chopped
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of chilli paste or one green chilli
1/4 tsp salt
- Blend together the yogurt and water with a hand whisk. Add the salt and mix well.
- Grind the coriander, curry leaves, garlic and chilli into a paste.
- Add it to the yogurt mixture. Mix well.
- Pour into glasses and serve with ice cubes in it.
- For a thicker consistency increase the proportion of the yogurt or add a bit of fresh cream.
- Try out the mint chilli garlic variety instead of the coriander.
- To have with a rice dish, simply make the chaas with salt in it. Heat a tsp of ghee, add to it a few mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped chilli, chopped coriander and a few curry leaves. Add this mixture to the chaas and serve cold.