I’m going to venture out on a limb here and declare that iced tea is America’s favorite hot weather drink. If you include alcoholic beverages, beer and mohitos would definitely be among the top three favs. But there’s yet another refreshing drink to consider during the heat of summer: Mango Lassi. I’ve not written about this fruit smoothie for several years, so what better time to bring it up again than mid-August.
I most often get my Mango Lassi fix at House of India on Delmar. But the drink is really easy to make at home. All you need is a well-ripened mango, yogurt and milk, but canned or frozen mangoes work just as well. Though some recipes call for sugar or honey, I add it only if the fruit is not as ripe as it should be.
The Final Straw
Mango Lassi is served with a straw, which prevents the residue from adhering to your top lip, giving you the look of a two-year-old eating an ice cream cone. Which brings me to the straw thing. Did you know that Americans use 500 million straws a day! Enough to fill a baseball stadium.
With all that stadium and ocean clogging going on, Starbucks has announced they will phase out their straws entirely by 2020. Yep, it looks like the old paper, bio-degradable sucker, maybe making a comeback.
But wait . . . .
There’s an Alternative!
For those into recycling, there’s the metal straw. I gave one to a straw-using friend recently. It even came with a teeny brush for cleaning. A handsome, drawstring pouch allows the straws to be dropped in the bottom of your purse and pulled out as needed. My daughter has the model that collapses like a mini cane and fits onto a key chain carrier.
Think about it. With a metal, eco-friendly straw, you can be the envy of all your frappuccino-and-bubble-tea drinking buddies wherever you imbibe.
Mango Lassi (a.k.a. Mango Smoothie)
- 1 Alphonso or Honey mango, very ripe or canned/frozen mango pulp (about 1 cup)
- 5 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt, chilled
- Pinch of ground cardamon, or to taste (optional)
- Splash of milk or water (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. light brown or regular sugar (optional)
To peel the mango, cut away the fatter sides from the stone. Then cut cross-hatches in the flesh, turn inside out so the cubes stick out, and scope into a blender with a teaspoon. Cut the remaining fruit from the stone. Or buy frozen or canned fruit already cut up.
Add ice cubes and whiz until finely chopped. Spoon in yogurt and cardamon, if using, and whiz until smooth. If too thick, add a little milk or water. Taste and add sugar. Pour into glass and serve with straw (of your choice) and sprig of mint.
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