the fruit | the dairy | the chill |
the sweetness |the spices | the garnishes
Lassi! It's not only a delicious showcase for the best fresh fruit you can get your hands on, it's also, thanks to the cooling dairy effects of yoghurt, the best way to finish off a spicy meal— or maybe you like your lassi so thick and creamy, that it might as well be a meal in itself. We looked through a staggering number of recipes for mango lassi, and rather than picking our favourite, we thought we'd help you create the lassi you want with this handy guide.
the fruit | Mango. If you're using canned pulp, which lacks somewhat in freshness and acidity, you might want to add a squeeze of lime. But why are you using anything other than the freshest Indian mangoes right now?
the dairy | Home-made or Greek-style yoghurt has the richness and flavour you need. Start with slightly less than half as much yoghurt as mango, taste and add more yoghurt if needed. If you want a looser lassi, add extra milk or buttermilk rather than water. If you're vegan, coconut milk and coconut yoghurt can make a refreshing plant-based alternative.
the chill |Some ice blended up with the rest of the ingredients will help keep your drink cold, but careful not to make your lassi too watered down. More important is making sure your yoghurt, milk etc. is refrigerated before use. And why not make a batch ahead of time and then place it in the fridge for drinking later?
the sweetness | Add this after the other ingredients— you might find your mango sweet enough without it. Otherwise, a few teaspoons of sugar (brown/jaggery has more flavour) or honey are standard, maple syrup is a gamble that could pay off— and rose water if you want an even more pleasant fragrance.
the spices | Arguably all you need for a good lassi is fresh mango and decent yoghurt, but a pinch of cardamom is the classic way to add intrigue to each glass. Any other choices are going to be controversial, so be warned— but fresh ginger and turmeric could work, while chilli, cinnamon, cumin and white pepper are more... daring.
the garnishes | Slices of mango look and taste great, while nuts (pistachios) and saffron will make your guests feel like kings. Mint or coriander if you like herbs. Whipped cream is excessive yet indulgent, while a sprinkling of salt is a mature (and traditional) way to boost the other flavours. And we might as well address the elephant in the room: yes, you can add alcohol... a dark rum, perhaps?