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Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink) Recipe

Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink. I often make it at home, but I've never quite been able to recreate the subtle tanginess of the drink. That is, until now. On our last trip to the local Indian restaurant, I asked the waitress about their preparation techniques, and she told me that they always add Bulgarian cultured buttermilk when making plain lassi. After that lunch, I stopped at the local Middle Eastern store, picked up a carton of buttermilk, and adjusted my recipe to her specifications. I've been making it this way ever since.

I use traditional Indian flavorings in my lassi, specifically elaichi ("cardamom" in Urdu) and rose water. My mother-in-law isn't a huge fan of rose flavoring, so I only added ¼ teaspoon of rose extract. You can add as much or as little as you'd like.


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Pineapple and Persimmon Compote Recipe

Pineapple and Persimmon Compote

02.05.10 by Jackie

Pineapple persimmon compote is a nice way to end a winter meal. The warmth of the compote contrasts well with ice cream or crème fraîche (although I didn't add it). 

Persimmons are an obvious choice for a winter compote, but I know what you're thinking: pineapples? My sister-in-law Sunny got the pineapple from a friend as a combination birthday present / commemorative gift for the season premiere of "Psych". In case you're not familiar with it, "Psych" is a comedy / mystery show on USA TV. There's a running gag on the TV show where they hide a pineapple somewhere in each episode.


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Mango Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink) Recipe

Every mango lassi recipe you'll find always has the same list of ingredients. Milk, yogurt, mango (fresh or canned), sugar and some crushed ice are always present, though the proportions may differ. To these, I added cardamom extract, saffron (for color) and a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the mango.

There's something magical about mango lassi (Indian-style smoothie). It has the richness of a milkshake without the calories. On top of that, it's ultra easy to make at home. You don't have to wait for your next trip to the local Indian restaurant to enjoy a tall glass of mango-ey goodness.


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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping Recipe

Sweet potato pie is a classic American dessert that is not overly sweet. The texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, but firmer. I jazzed mine up with a little anise extract, other flavorings and a crown of pecan crumb topping. It's a great pie for Thanksgiving, but really, you can enjoy it any time of the year.

I made this for a reader named Bill who e-mailed me a request for a sweet potato pie recipe. If you're reading Bill, I hope you like it!


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Crostata with Pecan and Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe

* The memory card of my camera just crashed and that's the only picture I could recover of the crostata right before getting in the oven.

A crostata is a dessert that is filled with jams or fruits and its sweet crust is folded inward at each edge. It gives the tart a more artisanal, which means rustic in French, and free-form look than other regular pies.

I made the dough with polenta to give it a more crumbly texture and flavored it with star anise. I used fresh ginger and Meyer lemon for the filling in addition to the blueberries.


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