6:29 AM EST
Mango Lassi | मैंगो लस्सी
Having to flee my ashram in Rishikesh, India I spent about a month living in Uttarakhand as a house guest (palace guest?) of my new friend Bobby. To balance the fiery curries I remain addicted to, a servant would often bring me a refreshing yoghurt-based drink known as a lassi (लस्सी). My favorites were Bobby’s Bhang Lassi (recipe previously posted here) and his caramom-perfumed Mango Lassi (मैंगो लस्सी). The recipe, I learned, is as simple as the lassi is delicious.
Ingredients are key. Use ripe, sweet mangoes – Alphonso mangoes if you can find them (an 18 year-old import ban on Indian mangoes, including the prized Alphonso was lifted in 2007). You can omit the cardamom if you’d like but then you’d be missing out on its exotic, resinous, distinctly Indian flavor that helps temper the mango’s luscious sweetness. Yes, mangoes are sweet but I still add a little agave nectar to my lassi – I prefer honey or agave nectar over sugar when sweetening liquids. Finally, to enjoy a lassi is to celebrate dairy. If you insist on making a low-fat version of this drink can you at least compromise by combining luxurious full-fat yoghurt with non-fat milk? I promise you won’t regret it.
• 2 cups yoghurt
• 1 cup milk
• 1 ripe mango
• 4 cardamom pods, seeds only
• 2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)
• Pinch of salt
Wash and peel the mango. Slice as much fruit from the pit as possible. Crush the cardamom seeds. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until frothy. The froth is key to a traditional lassi. Serve immediately.
Note: Add a few ice cubes for a thicker, colder lassi. And 500 Tasty Sandwiches is not the boss of you: experiment with more or less yoghurt, milk, cardamom and/or agave nectar to create a lassi to your liking.