Mango lassi recipe with step-by-step photos.
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.
What is mango lassi
Mango lassi is made by blending fresh sweet mangoes with yogurt. This thick and creamy lassi is flavored with cardamom and saffron.
This refreshing drink is a part of the menus in Indian restaurants. But the good news is that you can make authentic mango lassi at home. All you need is 3 main ingredients and 5 minutes.
Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the Indian subcontinent and everyone looks forward to the mango season every year. There are different varieties of mangoes available and every region has its own favorite. There is no doubt that this Indian version of the mango smoothie is a favorite drink for many of us, along with mango milkshake.
Make this healthy and delicious drink in summer when mangoes are in season or enjoy it any time of the year with frozen mangoes or mango pulp. It is also a perfect way to finish spicy Indian meals.
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.
Wash the mangoes and scoop out the mango flesh. Cut them into cubes.
In a blender, add mango chunks, yogurt, sugar, saffron, and ground cardamom.
Blend until it is smooth.
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 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.
Check out this recipe to make blackberry lassi.
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.
This homemade mango lassi is:
- creamy and delicious,
- very easy to make and ready in 5 minutes,
- perfect for summer,
- great as a light meal.
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Mango Lassi Recipe
- 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.