Mango Lassi needs no introduction to Indians, or for that matter non-Indians! Its a staple of every Indian restaurant, and why not? Its delicious, fruity, fairly healthy, smooth and creamy. And it mellows the taste of those wild Indian spices :-)
However, when I was a kid I just could not stand yoghurt. I don't know what it was... the taste, texture, whatever. I just did not like it, and drove my mother to distraction, as the rest of the family loved it. So you can imagine, lassi was not at the top of my to-drink list.
This all changed when I went to university in Delhi. JNU is well famous for its streetside dhabas, and the hostel we lived in had one right outside the gates, called Godavari Dhaba. Delhi gets brutally hot during the summer, and one hot summer's day, tempted by the smell of mangoes, I ventured out into the dhaba. One of the vendors there, Maamu, was whizzing up mango lassis, and I ordered one. Simply put, one taste and I was hooked.
Maamu's mango lassis are the stuff of foodie legends. Don't ask him how he makes them, just savour the sheer deliciousness of them, and watch the summer heat disappear in an instant [well, not really, but you know fond I am of hyperbole ;-)]
I make mango lassis fairly often here as they're so simple to make. However, due to the expensiveness and general terribleness of mangoes from Canadian supermarkets, I make mine with tinned mango pulp. To be honest, the end result tastes pretty good, and leaves minimum mess too. I have made this lassi with fresh mangoes as well, and its pretty good. If you want to make it with mangoes, subsitute the tinned pulp with the stoned and peeled flesh of 2 ripe mangoes, and depending on your mango sweetness, increase the sugar to 2 tbsp.
A little bit of Godavari dhaba and Maamu's lassi in cold, freezing Canada, old memories sure are sweet!
2 cups (500 ml) tinned mango pulp (use alphonso or kesar mango pulp for the best taste)
2 cups plain yoghurt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar or honey (optional)
1/2 tbsp fine dessicated coconut (optional)
2 pods cardamoms, seeds taken out and crushed in a mortar and pestle
Blend together all the ingredients in a blender. Taste, add more sugar if you think it needs it.
If you feel that the mixture is too thick, thin with a little more milk, but lassis are supposed to be thick.