Last year UK government put a ban on import of mangoes. Whole summer season passed away and there was no sight of mangoes. Friends and family in India uploaded the pictures on facebook and instagram of/with mangoes-ah I was so jealous. There was a time when I hated mangoes; because the fibre would stick in my teeth and the heat of mangoes would give me horrible pimples on my face. For me mango was confined to readymade Indian drink such as slice or mazza or frooti.
Then I got married to a mango addicted person, someone who can live on mangoes. I gave him all possible reasons-cum-excuses on why I hate mangoes, but he only smiled. One day, he got alphanso mangoes from a very old and famous Mumbai vegetables/fruits market. Quietly he kept the box of mangoes in the fridge. Next morning, he soaked two mangoes in the water for two hours. He came in our room; he had two plates, one knife and 1 fork with him. While was getting grumpy seeing the mango, he just dint react. Very carefully he peeled the mangoes with the knife, and neatly chopped mangoes into small pieces (that was the tidiest mango chopping, I ever saw). He picked one tiny piece with a fork and asked me to smell it. Okay, I said and sniffed. Now eat it, he said. No way, I replied. Just one piece, he forced. I opened my mouth and gulped. And it was summer in my mouth- fresh, pulpy, sweet and juicy mango; yummy I said in excitement. He smiled, gave the plate and fork to me and said, enjoy! And that is how and when I fell in love with alphonso mangoes.
My relation with mangoes has gone stronger after coming to London, I tried many mango recipes. I have prepared classic Indian mango phirni; eggless mango mousse with canned mango pulp; I treated my husband with mango mousse cake on his birthday two years back; you can see gujarati keri nu ras (aamras) recipe on my blog too; or check French mango crêpe cake if you like something fancy. Today it is a simple and easy mango drink that is very famous in the UK, called as Mango Lassi.
Also, mangoes are the favorite fruits of my two mothers, maa and mom in law, so I just timed it right for Mother's day :) In case you are still wondering about gift ideas, then see my post on 5last minute budget gift ideas for mothers' day.
Lassi is a Punjabi (north Indian) drink that is relished during summers. I explained in detail about lassi in the post of Strawberry Lassi. There are many ways to make it and no one way is right or wrong. Basically mango pulp and yogurt (dahi) are the two main ingredient, rest all depends on your preference. Ingredients like cream, rose water, milk, ice cubes, sugar, mint leaves, saffron (kesar), cardamom (ilyachi) are the elements that you can add or omit depending on your taste.
The lassi recipe I am sharing today is one that we get in the Indian restaurants here in the UK. Restaurant style mango lassi is sweet and thick, dark yellow in colour, garnished with saffron threads. You can see lots of modifications in the notes below.
2 ripe mangoes (I used alphanso)
1 cup yogurt (I used full fat)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon saffron/kesar
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons milk
Peal mangoes and remove all the pulp. Discard the seed.
In the blender, blend yogurt, mango pulp, sugar and ice cubes.
Heat two tablespoons milk. (I used microwave for this). Mix 1/2 teaspoon of saffron in the warm milk.
Put saffron and milk mixture in the blender and blend again.
Serve in glasses. Garnish with remaining saffron threads. Serve chilled.
You can use cream for creamy and velvety texture.
For thinner lassi, use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup yogurt.
You can add vanilla essence, cardamom or rose water for flavour. However I feel these ingredients are more powerful and thus the real mango taste subsides.
Mixing saffron in milk gives dark yellow colour to lassi, however this is optional. You can skip saffron for garnishing as well.
Quantity of sugar also depends on mangoes. Adjust the sugar depending on how sweet the mangoes are.
Saffron is available in any Indian grocery store. I used Mehr Red Saffron.
For a party, serve in fancy wine glasses. Garnish with rose petals, saffron threads, chopped nuts.
It is filling too, you can give it your kids as an evening snack, or have it as post-workout or gym snack.