I love mangoes; I grew up with 5 mango trees in our Kuching backyard. The fragrance of the ripening fruit would filled the air, and we had to battle the flying squirrels for the ripe fruit. The crafty critters often got their share, and we had lots of fruit with squirrel-sized bites taken out of them. But no matter, there were always bucketfuls to go around.
However, the mangoes we get in NZ are so odourless, and taste bland. The R2E2 ones from Australia are halfway decent, but at $5.99 each, they are an uncommon treat, and never get used for cooking.
That’s why I always look forward to mango lassi at Indian restaurants. They are full of flavour, and a good respite from the heat of the curries. At the Sandringham Food & Spice tour recently, host Lisa Loveday revealed just how easy it is to recreate this drink at home.
This takes mere minutes to prepare. The recipe uses mango puree which are readily available from the various Indian food markets around Auckland, and at the Pak’n Save branch in Sandringham. For yoghurt, I buy the Gopala brand which sells for <$3 for a 750mL pottle at Indian grocers, Pak’n Save and New World supermarkets.
Ingredients (makes1.6L and enough for 6-8 people) :
850g can kesar mango puree (chill the can in the fridge overnight)
750mL pottle thick plain yoghurt
pinch of cardamom powder
(optional) crushed ice
(optional) ground pistachio nuts
Combine the mango puree, yoghurt and a large pinch of cardamom powder in a blender, and blitz for 10 seconds until well combined. Or whisk in a large bowl.
Put some crushed ice in glasses, and pour the mango lassi into the glasses. Sprinkle some ground pistachio nuts and serve.