Book Launch

Lassis of India: Smoothies with a Twist
Radha Bhatia
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A successful entrepreneur running several multifaceted businesses in aviation is just one of the many roles that Radha Bhatia has been juggling with for decades. Besides being a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist and champion of women empowerment, she’s also an accomplished cook. Belonging to a generation that has seen bigger changes than any other, she has managed to embrace the new without feeling the need to let go all that is good of the old. She’s equally at ease looking up old recipes as she is preparing them in the ‘handi’ her grandmother presented her when she first began cooking 65 years ago.

This book is a result of her passion for cooking, concern for health of her loved ones, and the urge to pass on some of the good things she grew up enjoying. Her extensive research to unearth the recipes led her 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. Writing of this book thus became a delightful cultural journey, as it would for the reader on reading.

The idea of writing a book on Lassis occurred to her when she realized that today a healthy lifestyle and eating habits is a universal concern. We look for quick fix meals and beverages containing preservatives and chemicals. We have thus almost forgotten India’s age-old elixirs like Lassi, even though making these are no longer as time consuming as in the past. Today gadgets and appliances have replaced the manual devices our grandmothers used. These tasty and healthy beverages, consumed over centuries in many different avatars across various parts of the country, are natural and full of ingredients with tremendous health benefits. These traditional recipes are also closely connected with the cultures and culinary traditions of the regions they originate from.

The book is a compilation of 74 different recipes, tried out, served in the Roseate Hotels and appreciated by the guests before being included. These include traditional recipes from different states of India – from the traditional ‘meethi lassi’ of Punjab to ‘Talicha More’ of Tamil Nadu – each with unique taste and health benefits. Keeping the taste buds of children in mind, the recipes also include the modern twists to lassi – curd based smoothies full of natural goodness of fruits, vegetables and herbs. And, of course, without any preservatives.