The lassi must have been invented for the sole purpose to indulge in something cool, creamy, and sweet that also had the ability to quench the mighty thirst that comes with sweltering days. Those days aren’t exclusive to India, and can be found across the globe when the conditions are right. They invoke a state of somnolence and with it a dire need to find something, anything, to rejuvenate the body and the mind. Water could of course accomplish this task sufficiently on it’s own, but why settle for just a glass of water when, you can whip up something as revivifying as a lassi?
This particular version, a mango lassi, has a base of yogurt that lends a smooth and rich texture, ripe mango for a natural sweet essence, and ice cubes to chill it when blended together. In this instance thick Greek yogurt is used as it is very close to the fresh curd that was originally the fundamental element in lassi. This variety of yogurt has plenty of extra protein and is a wonderful probiotic to help give this tasty drink a healthy boost.
While yogurt is the ingredient that is built upon to make a mango lassi, mango is the most important part of adding flavor. With very ripe mango, there is no need for sugar or honey, and they are what the additional ingredients will complement as they are added in. If mango is the star of this lassi, then the spices are definitely the supporting players that make the mango shine.
As is, the above combination of yogurt, mango, ice is all perfectly adequate for the job it’s to perform, but it doesn’t elevate it to the reputation that a lassi has earned. That comes with a hint of freshly ground cardamom seeds and fresh ginger. These don’t just add a kick of flavor, but are healthy too. Ginger all on it’s own has been praised in nearly as high regard as garlic for its health benefits, especially for settling an upset stomach.
Spicy hints are always a fantastic step in the right direction, but they aren’t all that makes this particular recipe an absolute must try. Instead of adding water to thin the thick combination, coconut milk is used. It ups the tropical quality to the beverage in a beautiful way that isn’t overly saturated as it would be if the tangy yogurt was substituted completely by coconut cream. Flavor, of course, is not the only benefit for adding coconut milk. This liquid has been shown to fight against many maladies from lowering blood pressure to aiding in the replenishment of electrolytes, just to name a couple.
If that wasn’t enough, pistachios make their presence known inside and out with a few blended into the beverage as well as crushed and sprinkled on top to add a new layer of texture and pleasant crunchiness. These little nuts also add good amounts of monounsaturated fat, protein, and are yet another probiotic.
As you can see, this little beverage that originated in India, isn’t just about a wonderful way to cool down, or something to satisfy your sweet tooth, it packs a healthy punch too. Now, don’t you think it’s time to get into the kitchen, break out that blender, and whip up a pitcher of this beautiful mango lassi recipe?
Coconut Milk Mango Lassi with Cardamom and Pistachios
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 4 cardamom pods
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1/2 lime
- ½ cup pistachio nuts
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 5-6 ice cubes
- Peel the mangoes with a sharp knife. Cut the fruit off of the seed and then into chunks. Transfer the mango chunks to a blender.
- Crush and grind the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar.
- Add the ground cardamom, coconut milk, lime juice, yogurt, half of the pistachios, and ginger to the blender.
- Put the blender on the base and add the ice cubes.
- Turn the blender on and let it blend until smooth and creamy.
- Crush the rest of the pistachios on a cutting board.
- Pour the lassi into the glasses and top each with the crust pistachio nuts and serve.
STEP ONE – PREPARE THE MANGO
Lay the mangoes on a cutting board and carefully peel the outer skin of the mango off of the fruit with a paring knife.
Score the fruit before cutting it off the seed to make it easier to cut into smaller chunks. Transfer the mango to a blender.
STEP TWO – GRIND THE CARDAMOM
Put the cardamom pods into a mortar bowl and use the pestle to grind the pods down.
There will be skins from the pod left over; discard them and save the ground spice. Alternatively, use a spice grinder if a pestle and mortar are unavailable.
STEP THREE – ADD EVERYTHING TO THE BLENDER
Scrape the cardamom into the blender and pour in the coconut milk, squeeze the juice from the lime half, and add the yogurt.
Add half of the pistachios to the blender along with the peeled ginger.
STEP FOUR – ADD ICE CUBES
Return the blender to its base and lock it in. Add the ice cubes to the blender and place the lid on top firmly.
STEP FIVE – BLEND
Blend everything on high for 2-3 minutes or until everything has broken down, including the ice. It should be thick and creamy when done.
STEP SIX – CRUSH THE PISTACHIOS
Place the rest of the pistachios on a cutting board. Using the pestle or another heavy item like a rolling pin, roll over the pistachios to crush them into smaller, but noticeably chunky pieces.
STEP SEVEN – POUR AND SERVE
Pour the finished mango lassi into tall glasses and top each with the crushed pistachios and serve.
Lassi can be enjoyed any time of year, but a sip of this refreshing drink is best on a hot summer day. When is your favorite time of year for a lassi? Do you prefer a different fruit like banana or strawberry? Maybe the salty version is your go to.
Please tell us all about it!