Thick and creamy like milkshake, Mango Lassi is not simply a drink, it is like dessert in a glass.
I am really enjoying the end of season offerings at the market. Last week, it was all about the tomatoes, this week, it’s mangoes. When things are plentiful and in season, we have so many ideas and plans for things to make, however, we never really get to them, for a variety of reasons. Among those reasons are – our palettes can become saturated with the flavour over a period of time; and, quite rightly so, we tend to consume them in their raw and natural state so as to obtain the maximum nutritional benefits. After I have packed, pickled and preserved the bounty of the season to be enjoyed later in the year, it is this period – the end of the season, where a few stalls are selling the late harvest – that I find myself making some of the things on my Things to Make list, such as Mango Lassi.
Mango Lassi is a yogurt and mango smoothie; think of it as a mango milkshake. The ingredients are few – yogurt (preferably whole milk yogurt), mango, a little milk, ground cardamom and a sweetener – sugar or honey. When blended together the mixture is thick, like a soft pudding. To drink it, you’d need to use a wide straw. If you are serving it cold after being refrigerated and thickening more, a spoon works well.
As a dessert, Mango Lassi is very quick and easy to prepare and can be made days ahead. Served cold, it is absolutely refreshing. I do not recommend serving Mango Lassi immediately after it has been made, I find that letting it “set” (the flavours melding), really contributes to the enjoyment. The cardamom evenly distributes its flavour, mixing with the natural flavour of the mango. The sweetness of the mangoes and sugar/honey along with the tartness of the yogurt unite in such a way that you cannot tell where one ends and the other begins. They merrily coat your tongue as you suck hard on the straw, inhaling; or licking the spoon.
You can turn Mango Lassi into a playful treat for children and adults – pour the mixture into ice or popsicle molds, insert a wooden stick after its been in the freezer for an hour and let freeze until hard. Watch the faces light up with excitement as you offer everyone a popsicle. Here’s another way you can serve Mango Lassi as dessert – pour the mixture into an electrical ice cream maker!
One of the things I really like about making and serving Mango Lassi as a dessert is that it can be made diabetic friendly – you can choose not to add any sweetener and just go with the natural sweetness of the mango. All the good healthy probiotics from the yogurt will aid in digestion. Another plus is that the mixture freezes well, for months. Measure portions and place into airtight containers and freeze. When ready to use, unmold from container and tip into a blender with a splash of milk and pulse for a thick icy drink.
Make some Mango Lassi for Sunday lunch dessert, tomorrow.
Use proportions to suit your taste, this recipe is how I like my Mango Lassi.
• 1 ½ cups chopped ripe mangoes
• 1 heaped cup whole milk yogurt
• Sugar to taste
• ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom/cardamom powder
• Whole milk (enough to produce your desired consistency of mixture)
1. Add all the ingredients to a jug blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust
to suit your taste and consistency – sugar/honey, yogurt and milk.
2. Cover jug tightly and refrigerate until ready to use, or, transfer to individual
glasses, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
• Water can be used in place of milk to thin out the shake.
• If serving immediately, add ice cubes to the blender with the other ingredients and
• Do not add ice cubes if not serving immediately, however, if you do, then be sure to
stir the mixture before pouring and serving.