I’ll never forget the first time I tried a mango lassi. My roommate my freshman year of college was Indian, and one night we went to dinner at a local Indian restaurant. I had been there before, but I never tried a lassi…mainly because I had no idea what they were. “It’s like a smoothie,” my roommate explained, “except thicker.” I loved smoothies, so I decided to give it a try.
It was love at first sip. The lassi was cold, smooth, and sweet–exactly the way a lassi should be. Now that I think back, I realize that I had never tasted mango before. The drink reminded me of being on a tropical island, or somewhere far away. It was so much better than a strawberry banana smoothie–it was a dessert and a drink all rolled into one.
I tried to recreate the first lassi I tasted, but I never found the right recipe: The ones I tried from gourmet cooking magazines tasted too contrived, and the ones I found online all seemed to differ. Some recipes advised using water; others said to add whole milk.
Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands. A lassi shouldn’t be this much work, I reasoned, so I improvised: I took plain, non-fat yogurt, a cup of thawed frozen mangos, and mixed it together with a cup of skim milk. This might not be the gourmet version of a lassi, or even the right version…But it’s the most delicious one I’ve tasted.
Feel free to improvise as you will. But just in case you want a some direction, here is my “recipe”:
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (not Greek)
1-2 cups thawed frozen mango
3/4-1 cup milk
Throw everything into a blender, and mix together until the liquid becomes creamy and smooth. Pour into a cup, and drink right away–the lassi is best served cold.