I almost had forgotten about the champagne mangoes ripening in a paper bag sitting on my kitchen counter.  They were leftovers from my mango-rhubarb pie the other day.  After quickly browsing through my pantry supplies, I pulled out a tub of Straus yogurt from the fridge and laid it out on the counter together with my bear-shaped Marshall’s Farm thistle honey squeeze bottle, some cardamom and my blender, which I haven’t used in quite a while.  A sweet mango lassi would be perfect, I thought.

As I was having my lassi epiphany, I wrote a quick email to my friend, Chinmay, and asked him how he makes his.  I just wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing.

Mango Lassi with Cardamom and Honey Recipe

1 large mango, or the equivalent of 1-1/2 cups mango
1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 to 2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cardamom
strawberries or raspberries for garnish

Massage your mangoes well, Chinmay said.  He instructed me to hold the top and the bottom with my left hand and use my right to massage the mango while rotating it around the top-bottom axis.  Chinmay is a chemical engineer like myself and after reading his “top-bottom axis” instruction I suddenly missed being a nerd.  He said that massaging the mangoes is very important because it loosens up the pulp.

How do you cut a mango?

Champagne mangoes have long flat seeds in the center and the best way to cut them is by cutting parallel to the seed.  Using a sharp chef’s knife, start just off the centerline and cut parallel to the seed.  If you come into contact with the pit, follow the contours of the pit and continue cutting. You’ll get three pieces: the pit and two so-called cheeks of mango pulp.

How to Cut a Mango

Using a spoon, scoop the mango pulp out of the cheeks and toss them into a blender.  Add plain yogurt.  Chinmay made it very clear to use plain unflavored yogurt.  The sweetness of the mango lassi should come from the mangoes, he said, and not from the yogurt.  Alternatively, buttermilk can be used instead of yogurt.

Add some cardamom and honey and blend everything well together in a blender. To make a chunkier mango lassi, Chinmay recommended simply whisking the mangoes and yogurt together.

Garnish with fresh strawberries or raspberries and enjoy.  Sweet and refreshing.

This recipe makes approximately two 8-ounce glasses of lassi.  To make more, keep the 1-to-1 ratio of mangoes-to-yogurt.

Mango Lassi