Make Your Own Melon and Ginger Lassi

 ,  |  Updated: June 17, 2013 11:57 IST

Make Your Own Melon and Ginger Lassi

The peppery payload of this surprising melon lassi really hits the spot.

The smoothie is often one of life's great unfulfilled promises. We delight at the thought of the sun's sweet bounty, freshly juiced, ice-cold in a frosted glass. Tastes good, does you good. In theory.

But the reality is that many smoothies are no better for you than fizzy pop - all the fibre has been stripped from the fruit, and what remains is just sugar in a glass. Not only do they make you fat, but they can taste a little cloying.

Until now. This extraordinary recipe is a great example of the creative genius of my collaborator, Jane Baxter. It is so refreshing that you will be unable to suppress an extended "ahh!" after your first sip.

Let me explain how her mind works. First, the melon. She has chosen the cantaloupe, which provides a base of scented sweetness, rather than going for watermelons, which are the usual smoothie fodder. She adds fresh ginger for warmth. Then, bam! From out of nowhere there comes the rocket for a peppery kick. The yoghurt and lime are added for their acidity. Note that she leaves in the lime pulp for extra texture in the mouth: it's all in the detail.


And finally, a good glug of ice-cold sparkling water, crushed ice and a delicate top note of garden mint. It tastes sensational. What's more, all of the fibre from the fruit has been retained, so you can feel quietly smug about how healthy you're being as you sup.

Once you have enjoyed this a few times, try substituting watercress in place of rocket, and use ginger ale instead of the fresh ginger and sparkling water.

Don't be tempted to put the ginger into the blender without grating it, because, unless it is sub-continent fresh, it'll end up sticking between your teeth.

Make your own melon and ginger lassi

Serves 6
100g rocket, chopped
300g cantaloupe melon, chopped
250ml sparkling water
125g crushed ice
350g plain yoghurt
2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Leaves from a small bunch of mint
2 limes, skin and pith removed, chopped

1 Blend together the rocket, melon flesh, sparkling water, ice and yoghurt. Then add the ginger and lime, and blend again.

2 Decant the lassi into six glasses and serve immediately, or the components will separate.

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Recipes by Henry Dimbleby and Jane Baxter. Henry Dimbleby is co-founder of the healthy fast-food restaurant chain Leon (@henry_leon)

Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian



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