May 20, 2012

Mango Lassi — summer in a glass

Lassi : lasēnoun; a sweet or savory Indian drink made from a yogurt or buttermilk base with water

With summer beautifully seeping into the lingering golden days and sultry arabian nights, I’m into a major cooler kick. The lure of a tall glass of chilled beverage that’s quick to mix and heavenly to quench thirst and combat heat is so wild that I’ve been going crazy shaking things up with summers bounty.

And while I’ve been cooking other serious food, it is astonishingly the drink recipes that I’m drawn to, and gets scandalously photographed and featured, again and again. Like today.
Easy, beautiful and heavenly to taste—there’s no better way to celebrate the intoxicating mango season than with this refreshing sipper—mango lassi—that’ll cool you off instantly.

A quintessential Indo-Pakistani experience, lassi, pronounced luh-see, is a classic cold yogurt drink. The mainstay of summertime in India, they are singularly versatile and can be found in sweet or savory variations with flavors ranging from fruits to spices and herbs, depending on season and geographic location. For instance, in Kerala, the skinny, spiced and salted version (chaas), known as smabharam, is a defining staple. Flavored with ginger, curry leaves and green chilies, it is served as an accompaniment for lunch to help the body digest hot and spicy food.
Sweet lassi is the desi equivalent of smoothies, made from any combination of ingredients. Mango is the most popular of the lot. Velvety textured, sweet, and deliciously thick, it makes snacking a glorious treat in this sultry, sun-drenched weather.

The flavor of lassi largely depends on the mango variety. Alphonso, the prized Indian mango, with its heady fragrance, luscious texture and sweet saffron flesh, is best. Yoghurt adds tang, but not aggressively so. The riper the mango, it gives sweetness without the need for much added sugar, and a bit of freshly ground aromatic cardamom imparts a spicy-sweet flavor. Though, I must say, not everyone enjoys the flavor of cardamom in lassi—my kids definitely don’t, but I love it.

When shopping for mangoes, look for fruits with smooth, unblemished yellow skin than gives slightly when pressed. Unripe fruit can be ripened at room temperature in a paper bag, and ripe ones can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for few days. If fresh mangoes aren’t available, use canned mango pulp. Just beware, mangoes are not good for weight management. A 100g mango contains about 75 calories—so moderation is the key.

With mangoes on sale everywhere, whiz up this utterly delectable lassi for breakfast on the go, after school snack, or as an exotic dessert to finish off your spicy meals.

It is full of deliciousness you'll positively enjoy.
Mango Lassi

Serves 4
Prep: 5 min

2 cups fresh mango chunks (about 3 mangoes, preferably Alphonso)
1 cup chilled yoghurt
½ cup chilled milk
sugar, to taste
pinch of freshly ground green cardamom (optional)

For garnish
diced mangoes and slivered pistachios


Peel and pit mangoes; chop into chunks. Whizz all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and add sugar, and thin with more milk, if you like. If you are using fibrous mango variety, press through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any threads.

Pour into chilled glasses, and top with diced mangoes and slivered pistachios. Serve with straw and spoon.

Submitting this summer cooler to the ever popular Kerala Kitchen hosted this month by the my sweet friend, Jehanne, at The Cooking Doctor


  1. lassi is my fav drink. your photos are breath taking. just awesome

  2. Lassi looks wonderful with your lovely clicks..

  3. This drink looks so delectable. It's truly summer in a glass :)

  4. wow...
    looks rich and delicious :)
    wonderful clicks.

  5. hmmm really good for this summer...........

  6. Absolutely gorgeous photos. You have turned something delicious but simple into a truly extraordinary image! That, and I am now hungry for one of these :)

  7. Delicious looking photos. mango lassi made me drool over it.

  8. Wow mango lassi anyway and if it make it look this gorgeous then what to say

  9. gorgeous clicks....perfect for the summer

  10. Absolutely love the clicks - so refreshing

  11. The clicks makes me so tempting, nice drink for summer

  12. OH yes! That's what am drinking these days .. more than ever:)

  13. Refreshing,really tempting me a lot.

  14. I don't see any alphonso in Bahrain :-( Lassi is a staple in my home, courtesy my north Indian Hubby.

    The photos are lovely!!!

  15. I am a sucker for mangoes...The vibrant color is really summer in a glass! I love the sun, the beach and good food. I need to whip this up, right now! ;)

  16. My daughter's favorite, great pictures..

  17. Really love mangoes.. Beautiful pictures!

  18. I am so lazy to make lassis, smoothies or juices out of fruits :( This looks so good! I have a dozen mangoes on my kitchen counter as I write this so might just attempt making it.

  19. stunning clicks, yummy lassi.

  20. How I wish to have this beauty on my table!

  21. Looks so delicious. What awesome clicks.

  22. That looks so gooooood..!

  23. I've never payed attention to the mango variety but I will now! I wonder which varieties we get here in California.

  24. These lassis look so pretty and so very delicious!

  25. i just love the photos! your'e a Pro! (BTW the lassi looks amazing.) its summer here so this is a much needed recipe! ;)


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi