Summer is GONE. Its time for those chilly mornings and even chillier evenings.I am already, 'Missing the Sunshine on my Shoulders.' Luckily I stay in a place which has equally Sunny Summers and Cold Winters.So I should not be cribbing much.  Time for FALL. The play of colors on the foliage all around is a treat for sure, but I am a Summer baby. I would prefer the colors of Fresh mangoes. The red or green skin, the golden yellow flesh is a better alternative than red and yellow leaves all around.With Summer gone, with it, are gone all the Summer Coolers. I try to remind myself that with Falls and Winter, comes in the season of Mulled Wine. But then I remember, in my condition, am alcohol free. So I lust a bit more about the Virgin Summer Coolers more so now. The desi me shouts out for MANGO LASSI. A yogurt based cooler infused with fresh mangoes and a dash of honey and milk. Thick and decadent. Slurp-i-licious !!

Lassi is a very popular North Indian beverage, which has a Pan-Indian presence. Most corners in India will serve up their version of Lassi. Road trips in India, meant stopping at roadside Dhabas(small shacks along the highways, selling food)  and digging into Kaali daal and Tandoori rotis,washing it all down with  a tall glass of sweet and salty lassi. The Mango Lassi is a fancier version of the simple lassi, and is a common feature at the more urbane eateries. Kansas City's Indian restaurants serve a disgusting version of Mango Lassi. Even the grocery stores, with a chat counter, serve it up. The craze is here for sure, but the taste is not. Dont know what exactly do they put in it. I am sure that they never use fresh mangoes in their version of Mango Lassi. Or not even Frozen ones. I guess they just use a cheap Mango Pulp or Mango extract, which has lived out its Expiry Date. Why would it taste so card-boardy otherwise. I have ordered Mango Lassi at all the desi restaurants here, and could not go beyond the first sip. So during the Mango season, I try and whip up some for the evenings, quite so often. Recently walked into the local grocery store, and found a batch of late Mangoes, from Mexico. Voila. Some more Mango Lassi days. Mango Lassi is a cooler which does not require much of bartending skills. No juggling needed, no hoops to jump through. Plain Yoghurt, along with diced and peeled fresh mangoes, creates magic, when pulsed with a dash of milk. Always take a bit of the mango, before you start pulsing it down. More often than not, you will need a sweetener. I go fancy and add in some honey and just a little bit of sea salt. It just acts a kicker. I am tempted to even add in some cayenne Pepper next time I churn some. Its all about using all the cocktail making skills, to jazz up a traditional drink.Always serve it on the rocks.  Now when you look at the picture below, don't you think that itsa nice play of colors on the plate?! I would prefer it to Fall Colors any day.


Mango: 1 or 2(depending on the size): Peeled, de-seeded and chopped
Plain Yogurt: 1 cup . Try and use cold yogurt.
Honey: 1 tbsp or less, depending on the sweetness of the mangoes.
Milk: to thin out the lassi, if it gets too thick. Usually adding a few drops, when the food processor is pulsing, is a good idea.
Sea Salt: A pinch

For the Garnish: 
A Sprig of Fresh Mint(which I did not have)
or some fresh Fruit slices(I used some grapes)

In a blender/juicer/food processor, add in the yogurt, honey, and chopped mangoes. Give it a few pulses.

Check the density of the lassi and its sweetness. If its too thick to be poured out, then add in some cold milk, and pulse it again.

Serve it on the rocks in some Champagne Flutes. Add in  half a pinch of sea salt in each glass. Garnish with fresh fruits or mint and serve.

You can also make it in advance and chill it for a party. Do not add the ice, if you do not mean to have it just after you have churned it up, as that might dilute the Lassi.

Bon Appetit !!

1 comment

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