London: Radha Bhatia, chairperson of the Bird Group travel conglomerate, has written ‘Lassis of India — Smoothies with a Twist’ as an amalgamation of recipes and stories after extensive research to explore the cultural roots, local customs, climate and cuisines behind the drink.

The Indian entrepreneur-author brought the taste of lassi to London with a special taster session to launch her new book on the Indian yogurt drink, already popular at curry restaurants across the UK.

The book features a compilation of 17 traditional recipes from various Indian states, blending with the local food and climate.

An additional set of 57 recipes involve lassis with a twist — prepared with herbs, fruits and nuts, which are aimed at striking a wider global appeal. According to the author, all the recipes in the book are simple to follow and intended for those who love to cook at home.

“Lassis of India is an attempt to revive our age-old elixir with a twist of contemporary blends along with the traditional recipes to suit the modern lifestyle. While unearthing the recipes, it led me to many mythological stories and interesting folklore — starting from the mythical story of the origin of Charnamrit (holy water) by churning of the oceans by Gods and Demons and thus making a delightful discovery,” said Bhatia.

“This is the first-ever book that focuses on lassis and encapsulates the health benefits of its consumption. Research has shown that probiotics can keep your intestines happy and have a healing effect on the gut walls. They also improve your body’s ability to fight infection, a wonderful quality for any food to have in these polluted times,” she said.

The businesswoman who enjoys cooking believes that with people struggling to maintain healthy eating habits in a fast-paced lifestyle, the book’s easy-to-execute recipes — ranging from the ‘Meethi Lassi’ of Punjab to the ‘Talicha More’ of Tamil Nadu — present a perfect blend.

“Lassis are light on the stomach, refreshing to drink and aid smooth digestion,” adds Bhatia.

The proceeds from the UK launch, held at the Nehru Centre in London this week, are earmarked for her chosen charity — Consortium for Street Children.