For those of you who haven’t tasted the silky bliss of a sweet strawberry lassi, lemme tell you all about it.
A lassi is an Indian smoothie, and while there are many different regional variations of lassi, the sweet versions start with fresh fruit, often mango or strawberry.
The fruit is then blended together with thick yogurt or cream, honey, rose water, cardamom or cumin (curry smoothie — yikes!), and ice. The result is rich, satisfying, and perfect with a bowl of warm vegetable curry or (my favourite) shahi paneer.
Geez… and now I’ve gone and given myself a mad hankering for Indian food.
Paneer cravings aside, these muffins were another one of my happy accidents (weird how they often seem to involve cardamom) — originally intended to be cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, the batter didn’t rise up and smooth itself out during like I expected it to do.
So, what did she get for her birthday instead? Muffins with strawberries, creamy ricotta, honey, rose water, and cardamon — less fancy than cupcakes, but more practical! Especially for those breakfast-on-the-run-type mornings.
Cupcakes are totally overdone these days anyways, right? Yeesh.
One thing to note about this recipe: I roasted the strawberries before adding them to the muffin batter.
Why? Because roasting strawberries softens their texture and seals in their juices, making them less likely to “bleed” all over the batter, which also keeps each strawberry bite bursting with fruity goodness.
The strawberry hearts that I used to top some of the muffins are simply deftly cut strawberry halves, purposely unroasted before baking.
Strawberry Lassi Muffins
*recipe by Christine
- 2 cups roasted strawberries
- 3/4 cup extra-smooth ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoons rose water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.
Cut 2 heaping cups of fresh strawberries into large chucks, then bake for 30 minutes on racks placed over a tin foil lined baking sheet (I found that my cooling racks worked well — just don’t cut your chunks so small that they fall through).
Let cool completely, then cut the roasted strawberry chunks into pea-sized pieces.
In your largest mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, white sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Set aside.
Whisk together the ricotta, large eggs, rose water, and lemon zest in a separate bowl until smooth.
Whisk in the oil, then the honey, and stir until smooth again.
Pour the wet ingredients over the bowl of sifted dry ingredients and gently fold them together — once everything has been folded a few turns, but not yet completely incorporated, add the roasted strawberries and fold until evenly distributed.
Spoon the batter into a 12-cup muffin tin lined with muffin cups.
If desired, top each cup of batter with a sliced strawberry.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F/205°C and then turn down the heat to 350°F/175°C for the last 12 ~ 15 minutes (total baking time of 28 ~ 30 minutes).
Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes before carefully placing the muffins on cooling racks.
Muffins are definitely best while still fresh and warm, so dig in as soon as they’re cool enough to eat!
And, of course, muffins tend to freeze well, so you can store any extra muffins in the freezer and save them to munch on later.
Anyways, I figured that eating a strawberry lassi muffin while drinking a strawberry lassi might’ve been too much lassi to handle in one sitting, so I enjoyed mine with a hot chai latte instead. Yum!