Kiwi Rose Lassi

A Breakfast, Brunch, Libations post written by on December 4, 2013

Kiwi Rose Lassi

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Prepping Kiwi Rose LassiKiwi Rose Lassi

As much as I love eating and the holidays and being generally merry, I’m now more drawn to hiding in my vegetable hole more so than ever. I dream of raw vegetable eating almost daily – just thinking about crunching on something refreshing like a stick of carrot gets me a little perked up. Anything to wash away the decadence, you know? I’m fatigued from too much buying, too much eating, and too much of nearly everything but peace and quiet. Don’t get me started on the music.

Of course, blogging is one of those frivolous commitments. It’s easy to let my blogging schedule slip and take a holiday. Even with a head full of recipes, there’s never quite enough time to execute ideas, much less take photos before 4pm when light slips right below the horizon. I’m learning to push the camera’s buttons a little bit faster, but it’s not as fun. I just need to think about something simple for just one minute – Ā like Lassi… as a digestif, as a small meal, and as a way to make eating as minimal as necessary. For those hungry moments when I can’t be bothered to eat, much less cook. Though, there is just a bit of cooking here.

Kiwi Rose Lassi

This is hardly a recipe, but sometimes, it’s difficult to remember the simple things unless someone or something triggers the idea. Several weeks ago we went to a lovely market north of the city and I had this luscious mango-rose lassi and I’ve wanted more ever since. Like most Americans, I find that good mangoes are hard to come by. At least, the ones that is flavored like those of my youth – floral, sweet, creamy, and tropical. These days, the closest thing to the tropics is my daydream.

So there I was drinking pre-made lassi at the market and dreaming of my own fresh creations, but like most other kitchen ideas, it came with a few surprises upon execution. After I finished the photos you are seeing, I noticed that the lassi had taken on a peculiar flavor. I did some Googling and discovered that kiwi’s natural enzymes react with yogurt and dairy, causing them to taste strangely bitter. Or something like bitterness, but I can’t describe it, it was not the lassi I remembered tasting just an hour before…

So, here is the word of caution, and these are big words. This is the kind of lassi you should drink immediately. I mean, straight from the blender and into your mouth, or it will change, much like the light this season. It will slip out from pleasant into weird, so please don’t come and hate me after you try it and find it terrible.

Hopefully, I will find some time this month to go pick some kiwis. I think the escape will make me less frantic and more inclined towards sharing and cooking. I’m also waiting for my persimmons to ripen so I can make this with persimmons. I’ll post photos, thoughts later this month.

Kiwi Rose Lassi

Kiwi Rose Lassi

Kiwi Rose Lassi

2 c of kiwi flesh

1 c greek yogurt

1 c tea-less chai, recipe below

1 TB rose water


Chai Milk for Lassi

1 cup milk

3TB sugar
2 green cardamom pods
2-3 whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-2 pieces cinnamon


+ Make spiced milk by toasting the spices (not ginger) on very low heat until they are aromatic. Then, add milk, ginger, and sugar. Bring to a low simmer and allow to sit for two minutes.

+ Puree or mash the kiwi until they are small enough to go through a straw, Too much blending and the seeds will get crushed and be bitter.

+ Strain the milk and blend with the yogurt and rose water.

+ When ready to serve, mix gently the kiwis and dairy together and top with fresh cardamom powder or chai spice mix. Drink immediately. The longer it sits, the more strange the flavor gets.


Kiwi Rose Lassi


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13 Responses to “Kiwi Rose Lassi”

  1. :O Love love love this!!!
    Simple as this may be, it is a great suggestion for eating kiwis. I like them but I don’t love them, yet my mom still buys them hoping to shove them down my throat – vitamin C and healthy bowels, she says, and she’s right. I love rosewater and I love greek yogurt, so I’m totally going to try this as soon as I assemble all the chai spices!

    I have to say, all of your photos are stunning, but these are especially nice. Great job, really <3

    • phi says:

      Thank you so much Valentina! I love your blog!

      Before moving to SF, I hated Kiwis as well, but now, we get them from a special farmer whose kiwis taste like roses. This is not an understatement. We get bags and bags of them and I’ve made a tart with sweet, rosy kiwiberries before using a rose custard because they reminded me of those kiwis. I think most kiwis are shipped prematurely and they never ripen, otherwise, everyone would be wild about them as we are…

      As for rosewater, I think I am putting it in all of my lassis now as well as anything dessert related. šŸ™‚

  2. Yes – so creative! I love kiwis but don’t really ever know what to do with them. Also, love that you’ve got your succulents making a guest appearance in your photos!

    • phi says:

      LOL. My roommate and my BF are succulent rescuers – they keep bringing home abandoned branches so now we have a house full of half-deads, you know, good for props.

  3. Meg says:

    Kiwis that taste like roses?? I have some that are resistant to ripening on my counter right now. I live in San Francisco and would love to know of a new source if you’re willing to share!

    • phi says:

      Hi Meg!

      There is a vendor at the Civic Center’s Farmer’s market that sells Kiwis. When they are at the peak season, they taste incredibly floral! I think the drought has been rough this year, so I wouldn’t bother because a lot of my kiwis have been hard and sour. His name is Glenn Tanimoto and the Kiwis often sell out early…

  4. Meg says:

    Thanks! I will check the stand out next season. The kiwis I got at the Alemany Market were pretty good even last week, especially by comparison to the ones I picked up at Whole Foods. I was directed to your blog based on the mention by Saveur. Aside from the recipes, I really like the unexpected insight I’ve gotten about San Francisco. e.g. Schmidt’s for vegetarians, who knew?

    • phi says:

      We love the Schmidt’s!! You should get pea pancakes (without salmon) .. it is where I got the pickled fennel recipe!

  5. […] Kiwi Rose Lassi – Princess Tofu. […]

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