(A refreshingly healthy yoghurt and fruit based drink that is halfway between a smoothie and a milkshake!)
Mango lassi is an Indian/Pakistani yoghurt and fruit drink that tastes similar to a smoothie, or a healthy milkshake. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a spicy meal – you can sip it to balance out the heat. I also love it as a breakfast drink, a light dessert or a snack – it’s super quick and only takes about 2 minutes to make you can pretty much make one whenever you feel like it!
You can buy lassi in a lot of stores, but it’s always very sugary and not as naturally balanced as the homemade version. It’s so easy and much healthier to make at home!
My dad is from Pakistan and my grandparents were from Kashmir and India, so lassi was a staple in my household when I was a little kid. My grandad especially loved it a lot, as it reminded him so much of home – I remember him drinking it constantly in the summertime; it’s a great way to keep cool.
Lassi comes from the Indian subcontinent, and it’s a general name for a yoghurt based drink. They are often called ‘ancient smoothies’, because they date back to over a thousand years ago! Lassis are very variable, and each region in India has its own traditional and modern variations – the weirdest one I’ve heard of is mint and chilli!
Yoghurt is the star in this drink. I prefer a non dairy yoghurt in mine so I use a live, cultured coconut one. The live yoghurt add health benefits such as helping to regulate your gut and ease digestion, so I recommend using yoghurt with cultures. Kefir would also be an interesting substitute that would work well. Adjust the yoghurt to water ratio depending on your preference for the drink’s thickness – I like mine quite thin, but the ones my grandad used to drink were almost solid so it’s completely down to personal taste.
Mangoes are a lot more variable than people think. In our local supermarket you can only buy one type – a Brazilian variety that is green-red and quite large. The best authentic mangoes for this lassi are yellow skinned Asian varieties, such as Alphonso or honey mangoes, which I find in season at Asian or International supermarkets, usually sold by the box. Feel free to experiment with different types and find the one that suits you best.
In the Punjab region – where Lassis are thought to originate – they are sometimes made with buttermilk instead of yoghurt, So feel free to experiment by combining different fruits and spices with the yoghurt base, or even trying buttermilk and see how it goes! Some popular flavours to try out include guava, orange Lassis also range from very sweet to sour/salty, so you can adjust the sweetness too to your particular liking. Personally, I love mine to be slightly sour as I find it a lot more refreshing.
WHAT YOU NEED
2 ripe (not overripe!) mangoes
125ml natural live yoghurt
10 frozen grapes
1-4 tablespoons of water (depending on desired thickness)
- Pakistani Alphonso (honey) mangoes are the absolute best for lassi, but they are only available in season so regular mangoes are completely fine too if you can’t get hold of the honey variety (they’re a little sweeter).
- You can use unfrozen grapes if you don’t have any frozen ones, or you can substitute them for 2-3 cubes of ice – the main purpose of them is to chill the drink rather than give flavour.
- I don’t add any extra sweetener in my recipe but feel free to add a spoon of honey or maple syrup if you prefer it that way.
- I use a cultured coconut yoghurt (Koko) in mine, feel free to use this too if you prefer non-dairy drinks.
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cooking time: 45 seconds!
Method 1: Peel and chop the mangoes. Add everything to a smoothie maker and blitz for 45 seconds.
Method 2: If you don’t have a smoothie maker, you can blend the fruit into a paste in a glass jug using a hand blender, add the yoghurt and stir. Pop in some ice cubes too if you prefer the texture a little thinner!
GF – naturally gluten free
LF – use a dairy free yoghurt – I use a cultured coconut yoghurt called Koko!
V – naturally vegetarian
Ve – use a dairy free yoghurt – I use a cultured coconut yoghurt called Koko!