Who doesn't love a lassi (pronounced luh-see by the way). Mangoes are in season and plentiful right now, so I usually have some ripening on my countertop. This beverage/meal is quick and easy, and using spices lets you cut down on sweetener so the natural fruit flavor shines through. I like to add a bit of Aleppo pepper also, it reminds me of eating mango in California as a kid.
2-3 very ripe and soft mangoes (enough to make about 1 cup of puree)
Fleur de sel
1 cup of whole milk yogurt (try to find one that is not too tart)
Sweetener (sugar syrup, honey, etc.)
In a small cup add 4-5 crushed cardamom pods, a small pinch of saffron, and a small pinch of fleur de sel. Add a small amount of hot water and set aside to steep.
Puree the mango in a blender, and optionally pass through a sieve (this will result in a much smoother drink). Strain the spices from the liquid and reserve the liquid (you can also keep the spices to use again).
Add the yogurt and mango to the blender along with the spice water and blend to combine. Sweeten to taste and serve plain or over ice. Optionally garnish with a bit of Aleppo pepper.
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
If you've never had mango before start with eating and handling a small bit. It's an uncommon allergy but best to be on the safe side!
Variations & Ideas:
• Mottainai tip - use the extracted spices to flavor and color a pot of rice before you cook it. They still contain plenty of flavor and color.
• Frozen yogurt! Double the recipe and sweeten it a bit more than you ordinarily would (cold temperatures blunt the perception of sweetness). You can also use a yogurt that is a bit more tart if you like, as it will balance the additional sugar. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, then add to an ice cream maker and process as per the manufacturer's directions.
• Take out a small amount lassi before sweetening and use it along with shredded onion as a marinade for chicken thighs or pork before grilling.
Food image and recipe © Christian Leue.
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