I tried it alongside my Scuttlebutt on a whim, thinking that a yogurt drink sounded healthy and soothing. Little did I know what sort of addictive cycle I was getting myself into. The chai lassi at Saltie doesn’t look like much–ground spices floating in a white, creamy base of tangy yogurt–but it tastes like magic.
While Americans are way more used to sweet lassis, flavored with mangos or bananas or rose water (they’re practically a smoothie, right?), salted lassis–basically yogurt, spices and salt–are just as common on the subcontinent. The chai lassi at Saltie is what I would imagine to be a middle ground between the two. It’s spicy and sweet, with cardamom, cinnamon and other warm flavors, but there’s a definite salty edge on top of the sourness of the yogurt. Salty-sweet-sour: that is an all too rare combination in American food and it’s why I cannot walk by Saltie these days without going in and ordering a lassi. At least yogurt is healthy, especially since they’re open on Mondays now, too.