Monday, July 25, 2011

Mango and Cardamom Lassi

In addition to masala chai, lassi is an Indian drink many people may know.
But I prefer my chai hot, and I can't say this is really hot chai weather.
And so, if I've a choice, lassi it is.

Instead of being a hot tea beverage, lassi is a refreshingly cool Indian yogurt drink...

If you're not familiar with mangoes, you can check for ripeness pretty much as you'd check ripeness on an avocado. It's also important to know they have a large, flat pit in the center of the fruit. The easiest way to break one down (in my opinion), is to cut down each side of the mango along the pit on either side of the stem. You're left with 2 halves of mango as well as a pit that's surrounded with fruit.
Hold one half skin-side down in your palm, and carefully cut down the length of the mango and all the way to the skin. Make another set of cuts perpendicular to the first set of cuts.
If you then turn the mango skin inside-out, the fruit separates and fans out. It's then much easier to remove.
Not wanting to miss the pulp that surrounds the pit, I peel this piece and cut any bits of fruit from around the pit.

Well, I suppose some people just use a spoon.
But this is definitely the way you want to go if you're making a fruit salad (which this is not).

I guess you could say it was the smoothie before "smoothies" were invented.

Mango and Cardamom Lassi
Based on a Jamie Oliver recipe
serves 3 (6-8 oz each)

1 c plain yogurt
1/2 c milk
1/4 c sugar
1 ripe mango
2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1/2 c ice (I eyeball it and use 4 large ice cubes)
1/4 t vanilla (optional, nice but it sort of blocks some of the mango flavor)

Place all ingredients in a blender and whirr until the ice is incorporated, mango is pulverized and the drink is completely blended.


  1. Dear Natalie,
    I had this both ways (w/vanilla and w/o vanilla),and tho't them both "to die for".

    I KNOW most folks just throw together what they have to make all sorts of smoothies,therefore thinking that they don't need a recipe smoothie.
    If I could recommend
    STRONGLY, that you try this will be very refreshed and SOOO happy. the only disadvantage is that I JUST wanted MORE!!!!!!


  2. Former college roommate living in Germany wants me to make sure to warn everyone about the dangers of mango allergies.
    Apparently one can be allergic to the outside or mangoes but not the inside. Horrible contact dermatitis can ensue, and that's not fun.
    Then again, food allergies generally aren't classified as "fun."

  3. Another thing...
    I would recommend using a thinner yogurt. Not Greek-style yogurt.
    If you only have thick yogurt in your fridge, you could measure out a scant cup of yogurt and then thin it with a bit of milk.
    And, in my opinion, milder yogurt is best in this instance. A strong or sour yogurt will retain it's strong flavor in the drink.