Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mango lassis for everyone!

OK, not everyone. Apparently not everyone likes them, which works out well for M and me, who LOVE them.

When the temperature soars, a mango lassi is the perfect treat to cool off. Last weekend we had our first official heat wave in the northeast with temperatures over 95 degrees for four days in a row, so mango lassis were definitely in order. Sweet, slightly tart, tropical, healthy, and refreshing, it's a tasty grown up milkshake that is the original smoothie. Indian and other South Asian people have been drinking them for years and they are a classic treat. In India, mango lassis are served with snacks and appetizers any time there is a party. They are de riguer during Indian wedding celebrations, particularly those held outdoors in the warm weather.
My son doesn't like them, nor does my husband, but my daughter and I love them and will probably have them every day this summer. They are loaded with carbs, but with the milk, mango pulp, and yogurt, they are a lower fat option to an ice cream milk shake.

I don't really measure anything when I make these, but these are roughly the quantities I use to make two servings:

1/2 cup mango pulp
1/4 cup plain yogurt, low fat or fat free
1 cup milk, 1%, 2% or skim
2 tsp sugar (more or less to taste)

Blend and serve over ice. Makes two servings.
Mango pulp is readily available at Indian markets. It's a big can (appoximately 28oz) for about less than $3.00. One can of mango pulp will make a lot of mango lassis considering that most restaurants charge around $3.00 and up for one. Plain yogurt can be lowfat. I have made this with vanilla in a pinch and it was fine, although a little sweeter than I prefer. The milk can be low fat or skim milk, although 2% seems to render the best consistency. I have seen a number of different garnishes, ranging from the ubiquitous mint leaf to crushed pistachio to a pinch of crushed cardamom or black pepper. Yes, that's right, black pepper. It gives the mango lassi an little bite that you wouldn't expect to work, but does. My favorite, however, is a sprinkle of shredded sweetened coconut.
Now that summer is upon us, I will be making these again and again. M will be happy, as will I.


Mimi said...

I'm so making these when my mangoes ripen!

Desi Mommy said...

Fresh mangoes you have grown yourself... Sounds heavenly!