After our trip to Namaste India restaurant on Saturday, my appetite for mango lassis has returned. In India you can find lassis of any size and scent: saffron, strawberry, banana, rose, mint, masala, plain salted, gold leaf trimmed, even bhang lassi which contains a liquid derivative of cannabis.
Below: My all-time favourite is plain sweet lassis served in terracotta cups with a layer of clotted cream. These ones were taken on a memorable day spent in the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur, just before I saw my first Bollywood film at the local cinema.
Lassis are beautifully creamy and sweet and that’s because most of the time they contain added cream, yogurt curd and sometimes some form of sugar syrup or honey. After a few weeks in India, the spicy soups and curried dishes eaten for breakfast, became too heavy, so I adopted these precious pots as my morning snack.
Here’s my recipe for a healthy alternative to this Northern Indian drink. It’s a nutty and fragrant version of your average mango lassi and that’s because it contains a small amount of unsweetened almond milk, some coconut bio-live yogurt and half a teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds. The recipe is simple.
Mango, Coconut & Cardamom Lassis
2 ripe mangoes
150 ml Rachel’s Coconut bio live yoghurt
100ml Alpro unsweetened Almond milk
5 cardamom pods
Mint leaves for garnish
Ice to serve
- Peel the mangoes and chop into chunks
- In a blender puree the mangoes with coconut yoghurt
- Crush the cardamoms so that you remove the outer pod and you’re left with the black seeds. Grind these in a pestle and mortar until you have a black powder. Now add the cardamom powder and the unsweetened almond milk.
- Blend for some seconds till everything is mixed well and the yogurt has become smooth.
- Pour mango lassi in glasses and serve garnished with mint leaves and cubes of ice.
Tip: If you prefer a thinner consistency, then add some more milk to the mango lassi while blending. You can also add ice cubes during blending. If the mangoes aren’t ripe, then add sugar or honey to taste.
NB: If you can’t find Rachel’s Coconut yogurt then either substitute for a plain yogurt and some freshly grated or dried coconut or if you’re not keen on coconut, just go plain.
If you were looking for a poem to read and ruminate over while enjoying your lassi, then to me, the below feels as though it would work well with this Mango, Coconut and Cardamon drink. This poem was read aloud to me one breakfast time, at a beautiful retreat centre in rural Cambodia – and it made me smile, at the time. It was written by Meera – an ancient Hindi poet, who was a feminist of her generation. I can imagine her sipping this mango lassi, whilst watching the morning moon fade.
“Three years went by and I had not slept with a man.
I consulted the moon about this and she said
it had been even longer for her,
but she did not think she was missing much”