School break time and Lassi-wallas…
Break time, or recess as it was known; was probably the most awaited moment of the day at school. Slogging away from 7.45am, impatiently awaiting the piercing deafening sound of the siren-like bell, which would take us out to 20 minutes of freedom from a sweaty classroom and away from that annoying boy I sat next to in class (the one I secretly had a crush on). And that’s it 10.30 am and my tummy would now be sounding like a shout in the Grand Canyon – out we would bound and scramble at the Tuck Shop to grab a quick snack and gossip of some sort. There would a herd of prisoner-like children scrambling at the shop, pushing, shoving, only to waste the 20 precious minutes in the line. And to be had were the ever famous chicken patties, the chicken would be nothing but shreds of some questionable substance pretending to be meat and then there were the undeniably pucker worthy chilli chips, Coke and Sprite in a plastic bag with a straw – resembling a water bomb…and then there was Mitchell’s Jubilee (maybe the advert linked will explain the fascination better!). Oh yes the epitome of all chocolate – at the time it tasted like forbidden fruit – every bite of it’s sugary non-identifiable chocolate flavour that would give you a sugar rush that left you like a hamster on crack – but oh, how we loved it. That would the first chocolate I knew, very simply confectionery blasphemy. But there it was – my sublime secret pleasure.
My memories of chocolate and those of roadside lassi-wallas strangely intertwine. Maybe it is the fact that both were forbidden, denied and out of bounds - Lassi wallas would stand there proudly by their rickety reclaimed wood thaylas (stalls with wheels) and entice you on a hot, sweltering day to buy a cooling yoghurt drink laced with salt, cumin and some other unknown materials. It is those unknown substances (possibly a plethora of e-coli) that my mom forbid me to ever try that achingly refreshing drink. That’s it the first time I tried it, I was sick – maybe a lesson is learnt the hard way.
So here I am, in an age of chocolate combinations that would make the Devil shiver. What’s my favourite? A simple answer, Chilli Chocolate – the heat with sweet gets me going and on a hot or cold day, nothing is more eye-opening than a lassi. So here is a rather devilish concoction that will get your eyes and mind open to a combination of Pakistani cuisines’ traditional flavours with a kick of chocolate chilli. Roses, because I am obsessed with them the Desi Gulab edible variety only grown in the Indian sub-continent of course, but dried will do. Cumin, salt and sugar, because the balance of these is evocative. This is simple to make, but gives you a head rush like no other lassi. Decadent as it may sound, its super healthy, low fat natural yoghurt and dark chilli chocolate, great for breakfast or when you need a chocolate fix – Try it.
This post is for Chocolate Week in the UK
Please note the gorgeous green & white silk rose corsage’s courtesy of my fabulous school friend Moneeza at Lotus Blu
330 g low fat natural set yoghurt
30 g Dark chilli chocolate (or plain minimum 70% cocoa chocolate mixed with 1/2 tsp chilli powder)
7-8 mint leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 pinch sea salt flakes
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried rose petals and 1-2 mint leaves
1. Pour all the ingredients in a blender (I used my Vitamix) and whizz for about 2-3 minutes until the lassi is frothy. Once ready, decorate with rose petals and mint leaves.