pumpkin lassi


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

pumpkin lassi |A Brown Table

Limits. They should be called restrictors. I realize, I place too many of these little fences around my thoughts. Self-imposed, they are and stifling they can be. But, to grow, these limits need to be pushed away. At first, even pushing the walls down seem hard and daunting. The anticipation of emotions of fear and nervousness about the unknown. Should success be the end goal of every endeavor? I don’t know and I don’t think I will ever have an answer to that but the thought of having attempted brings me comfort. But it also brings me strength, the strength to break down these limits and experience. To make mistakes and learn, isn’t that the true purpose of any venture. 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a little personal photography project, one to learn and grow from. My goal was to try and capture moments during the process of cooking. I’ve also been wanting to step away from focusing more on the final product but depict some of the stages through which ingredients get transformed. Some moments are more exciting than others but even the simpler moments have a story to tell. It could be something as icky as pulling the strings out of a pumpkin or something as delightful as icing a cake. But every step in preparing a meal is special which is why I find preparing food a grace and an even bigger joy to share. I do hope you enjoy this series as I share these moments with you.

pumpkin lassi |A Brown Table

I don’t think I could have predicted that I’d be sharing a pumpkin lassi recipe in fall . But here I am, doing just that. Tinged with the brightness of saffron and the sweet flesh of roasted pumpkin purée, this yogurt drink is dreamy. Dreamy with the colors and flavors of fall and one of its golden harvest, the spectacular pumpkin. So drink up and enjoy!

pumpkin lassi |A Brown Table

Kitchen Tips

  • If you want to make your own pumpkin purée at home, you can do what I did. It’s relatively easy and simple to do this and whatever, I don’t use I freeze in airtight ziploc bags until needed. Start with a small pumpkin and cut in half, discard the strings and seeds, place it on a baking sheet at bake in a preheat oven at 400F for about 35-40 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender. Remove and scoop the flesh out and blend it in a blender until completely smooth. For every 1 cup of puree, I add 1/4 cup of water to keep things moving in the blender. Try to use as little water as possible. The purée should be as smooth as possible. 
  • Don’t use greek yogurt, use the regular plain, unsweetened variety.
  • Avoid the temptation to use milk to prepare the drink in place of water. Lassi is traditionally made with chilled water. 

pumpkin lassi |A Brown Table

Here are some of my favorite reads that I’m drooling over this week,

pumpkin lassi |A Brown Table

pumpkin lassi

yields : 2 servings


4 tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin purée

1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt (not Greek yogurt)

3/4 cup ice cold water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon saffron strands soaked in 4 tablespoons boiling water

3-4 tablespoons molasses (you could also use brown sugar or honey, adjust sweetness as needed)

chopped nuts or saffron strands to garnish (I used saffron)

1. Place all the ingredients together in a blender and pulse for about 1 minute on high speed until smooth and combined. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed. 

2. Pour into chilled glasses containing ice. Serve immediately and garnish with strands of saffron if desired.


20 Responses

  1. "Some moments are more exciting than others but even the simpler moments have a story to tell." Yes, yes, yes. This post is so gorgeous and dreamy, Nik, and that first picture is just pure magic. I need this pumpkin lassi in my life!
    I can totally relate to your feelings about limits that we set ourselves; it’s something we should aim to overcome but it’s easier said than done. Can’t wait to see more of your project.

  2. This looks lovely.
    I do think it’s hard (at least for me) to show the whole process for most recipes. It involves so much work (unless someone else is taking the pictures) and a lot of thought. Most of my thoughts are usually VERY focused on getting the actual recipe right and perfect as I am still relatively new in the kitchen 😉


  3. A pumpkin lassi! I love love love this idea, I bet that’s what they’d serve if Hogwarts were in India.

    Your action shots are stunning. They remind me of a Caravaggio painting. I especially like the second one, where you can see the strands of the pumpkin innards.

  4. A great post, lovely recipe and the images are stunning. I agree with you about stretching your self, about breaking the walls and moving ahead…it’s almost as hard as defying gravity, once done ..the satisfaction is immense. I have been trying to do that myself and strangely the more i try that with my art, the more it changes me, it just connects me to myself. It’s an experience hard to put in words, i wish you write a post on making of these images, and by making am not talking about camera and light setting, am talking about your thought process, the emotion behind. I would love to read it.

  5. Gorgeous pics, the light is perfect and I love the way the pumpkin glows gently! Great words too – creativity is a blessing and a curse hey, always pushing to do better, I totally get that! Sarah 🙂

  6. Beautiful. .. I’m always either too scared or too rigid to leave my comfort zone… I know I have to, if I have to learn more. Doing prep shots is one of the most beautiful part of food photography. .. yours look fantastic Nik, such a beautiful flow of actions n ingredients. .. Love it!!!!

  7. Beautiful photos. I love your idea of photographing the process, the quiet moments of cooking and ingredients. I struggle with how much to stop and take photos while I am working. You are giving me reason to pause and consider. Here’s a question: I’ve been curious about your photos of your hands working in the process. Do you use a timer to get yourself in the photo or do you have someone assist? I hope you don’t mind my asking….I’ve been curious.

    Anyway, well done Nik!


    1. Thank you so much, Dena. With regards to your question, I use my camera timer most of the time and sometimes my remote. Hope that helps.

  8. You are an incredible food photographer! These photos are dreamy and the drink perfection! Also, I cannot wait to se more of your project!!

    oh and thanks for the shout out!

  9. I love your project, and these photos are stunning as a result; my personal favourite is the fourth from the top!!!!
    I always love your dramatic photos, and my admiration to your talent has been elevated after seeing this array of photos 🙂

  10. This drink is stunning, and so unique. I can imagine how heavenly the saffron and spices are against yogurt and squash. You can bet I’ll be making this.

  11. Loving this project Nik. And I totally get what you mean about the limits. The best times I’ve had are when I forget all of that stuff rattling around in my head. Looking forward to watching your series develop – loving your always beautiful photos even more as of late. xx PS And I love lassies. A lot. This looks divine!!

  12. Thank you for the mention, Nik!
    Looking through your photography is like reading a fantastic novel. Full of grace and intrigue. Beautiful work. And this pumpkin lassi has my name written all over it! I wonder, would fresh ginger be too strong here?

  13. Pumpkin lassi is SO. GENIUS. And this new photography project is so amazing! All of your process shots have been drop-dead gorgeous. Love your thoughtful words about pushing our limits and taking down our little mental fences. This is awesome.

    1. Lisa, I think it will work here. Just make sure to dissolve it in a little water before adding it and adjust the amount according to your preferred level of sweetness.

  14. Hello, Nik.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Today I am home, sick—and also homesick—and I just got a craving for something I’d never tried before, a pumpkin lassi. I like to create in the kitchen, but I’m low on can-do at the moment, so I decided to gamble on Google, expecting that someone somewhere in the world had probably beaten me to making up a good recipe. Yours was the first link I clicked on, and what a lucky click it was. I’m grateful to have found your food blog. Not only is your pumpkin lassi delicious (the molasses is genius), but the rest of your offerings make me want to stay: meaningful words, joyous food, beautiful hands that make, sensitive photography. Thank you. You seem like a kindred spirit.

    And somehow, I feel less homesick now. The rest of the ailment I’ll have to sleep off.

    Cheers to you!

    1. Georgia, I’m so happy to hear that you’re feeling less homesick and you like the lassi recipe! Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you for making my day!

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