Mango lassi is a delightful beverage that combines the sweetness of fresh mangoes with creamy yogurt. This thick and smooth drink is typically infused with aromatic cardamom and saffron, which add a subtle hint of spice and earthy flavor to the beverage.
Mango lassi is a popular item on the menus of Indian restaurants, but the good news is that it can also be easily made at home with just three main ingredients and a few minutes of preparation time. With its refreshing taste and simple recipe, it is the perfect beverage to enjoy on a hot day or to complement spicy dishes.
What is lassi
Lassi is a creamy yogurt-based drink that originates from Northern India. It is made by blending dahi (yogurt), water, and spices. There are two main varieties of lassi - sweet and salted. Sweet lassi has sugar whisked into yogurt and may have fruit in it whereas salty lassi has salt along with ground spices (like cumin) in it.
Traditionally, plain lassi is served in a kulhar (clay cup) with a touch of cardamom and a layer of malai (clotted cream) on top. It is believed that this traditional Indian drink originated around 1000 BC. The spices used are believed to have calming properties. Lassi is considered very cooling for the stomach and is a staple on hot summer days.
Why you will love this recipe
- Creamy and Smooth: This recipe gives you a smooth and creamy drink by using yogurt and mango in the right proportions.
- Aromatic Spices: A touch of aromatic spices adds an extra layer of flavor, these spices do not overpower the natural sweetness and flavor of the mangoes.
- Delicious light meal: The refreshing taste and creamy texture of the lassi make it an ideal beverage for the summer months, while its nourishing properties make it a great choice for a light meal any time of year.
Mango is a beloved fruit in the Indian subcontinent, and the arrival of the mango season is eagerly anticipated each year. With numerous varieties of mangoes available, each region has its own favorite cultivar. Among the many ways to enjoy this delectable fruit, the Indian version of the mango smoothie, also known as mango lassi, is a cherished drink for many. Alongside the mango milkshake, this beverage is a popular choice for those seeking a sweet and refreshing treat.
While it's best enjoyed during the summer months when fresh mangoes are plentiful, frozen mangoes or mango pulp can be used to make this healthy and delicious drink any time of the year. Not only does it provide a perfect way to end a spicy Indian meal, but it's also a great way to savor the unique flavor of mangoes.
Fresh, frozen, or canned mangoes
Traditionally, fresh and ripe mangoes are used when they are in season, along with homemade curd. However, these days we can easily find frozen mangoes or canned mango pulp, making it possible to enjoy this refreshing summer drink throughout the year.
For fresh mangoes, use Kesar or Alphanso varieties that can be found in Indian stores. You can also use other sweet varieties like Champagne/Honey mangoes.
If you are using mango pulp, it is best to use the ones available in Indian grocery stores. Kesar and Alphonso mango pulp makes the best lassi. Always check the sweetness of the pulp and adjust the amount of sweetener used accordingly.
You can also use a mix of both fresh mangoes and mango pulp to add more mango flavor, especially if the mangoes are not very juicy. For this recipe, you can add ¼ cup of pulp along with the rest of the ingredients.
Ingredients and substitutes
Mango: Juicy, sweet, and ripe mango is the key ingredient.
Yogurt: Use plain whole milk yogurt to make creamy lassi. Thick yogurt will help make the lassi creamy. Low-fat yogurt can also be used for a lighter version.
Sweetener: Sugar is the most common sweetener used. It can be replaced with honey, maple syrup, or any sweetener of your choice.
Spices: I use cardamom and saffron strands. They are optional ingredients and can be skipped.
Step 1: Wash the mangoes and scoop out the mango flesh. Cut them into cubes.
Step 2: In a blender, add mango chunks, yogurt, sugar, saffron, and ground cardamom.
Step 3: Blend until it is smooth.
Step 4: Pour into serving glasses. Top with pistachio and serve immediately.
Here are some lassi recipes that are a great way to add a twist to this easy recipe.
Strawberry lassi: Use strawberries instead of mangoes.
Rose lassi: Add one teaspoon of rose water along with the rest of the ingredients.
Vegan lassi: To make vegan mango lassi, replace yogurt with cashew yogurt, coconut yogurt, or any dairy-free yogurt. If needed, use almond milk or coconut milk to thin it out.
Spices: Use ground cinnamon or nutmeg instead of ground cardamom.
Sweetener: Change the sweetener as per your personal preference. Brown sugar, white sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc. works very well for this Indian lassi.
Greek yogurt can be used instead of plain yogurt. In that case, add ½ cup milk or water to adjust the consistency of the lassi.
You can use fresh, frozen, or canned mangoes to make lassi. Mango puree made with Indian variety mangoes like Kesar and Alphanso is readily available in Indian grocery stores.
When using fresh mangoes, make sure they are ripe and juicy and are not fibrous.
Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the mango.
Use cold yogurt straight from the fridge for best results. If you use milk (or water) to thin the lassi, use cold milk straight from the fridge.
Use thick yogurt for a creamy lassi. You can also use low-fat yogurt or a blend of yogurt to make it. Also, make sure the yogurt does not have a sour taste.
You can make it ahead and chill it in the refrigerator. However, it is best to serve lassi fresh or within 24 hours after making it. You can blend in some ice cubes along with other ingredients.
Top the lassi with crushed cardamom seeds to add more flavor.
Store-bought mango pulp usually has added sugar in it. So if you use it, check the sweetness before adding any sugar.
More yogurt-based summer drinks
Check out this recipe to make blackberry lassi.
More mango recipes
To make vegan lassi, replace yogurt with cashew yogurt, coconut yogurt, or any dairy-free plain yogurt. If needed, use coconut milk to thin it out.
Yes. Greek yogurt can be used; however, adjust the consistency of the lassi by adding little milk or water in that case.
They are both similar as they are yogurt based. However, a smoothie always has fruit/fruits added to it whereas you can make lassi without any fruit. Also, it is very uncommon to use spices like cardamom or saffron in smoothies.
Indian mangoes like Kesar or Alphonso mangoes work best. However, you can use any variety of juicy mangoes that are less fibrous.
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- 1 large mango (or one cup of mango pulp)
- 1½ cup yogurt
- 2 teaspoon sugar (adjust according to the sweetness of the mango)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 4-5 strands saffron
- 2-3 pistachio sliced (optional)
- Wash and peel the mangoes. Cut them into cubes.
- In a blender, add mango pieces, yogurt, sugar, saffron, and cardamom powder.
- Blend until it is smooth. Chill the lassi for about one hour.
- Pour into serving glass. Top with pistachio and serve.
Love a good mango lassi, thanks for the simple recipe! The cardamom is key and makes it taste quite authentic!
Nothing beats mango lassi on a hot summer day! Really love how simple but delicious this recipe is.
The color of this made my SOUL happy! Loved the simple ingredients too, I had everything on hand!
The saffron in this is just wow! What a stunning drink - the color, the flavor, it was all amazing!
I love mangoes and this mango lassi is what I'm looking for! It was so refreshing and creamy. I'm impressed, it was so simple and easy to make. New favorite!