Y'all know about my mango addiction (my parents have a collection of larger-than-life photos of my face with various amounts of mango on it). But this post is all about my mango lassi addiction. This simple recipe literally needs four ingredients and comes together in 10 minutes. It's a delicious, refreshing drink that just goes hand-in-hand with summertime.
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you're successful in your first attempt. But if you're in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!
Lassi is a traditional Indian yogurt drink, that can be made salty or sweet. The salty version is sometimes called chaas as well. When the sweet version has yogurt blended with mango pulp, that's a mango lassi. Sounds simple, right? That's because it is!
🥭 Ingredients and variations
My mango lassi recipe uses exactly four things - mango pulp, yogurt, milk and sugar. So, let's go through each of those and talk about some key tips.
But let me start with this. India has roughly 1500 varieties of mango, of which 1000 are produced for commercial use and sale. FIFTEEN HUNDRED VARIETIES. So, sadly for me, the mangoes in the US (and most other parts of the world I have lived in) have never come close to the mangoes I used to eat in India. So, I've searched high and low for acceptable replacements.
Choose the right mango: If you have an Indian store next to your house, you can see if they have Alfonso mangoes (or mango pulp). If you don't (at the moment, I don't either) - pick the ripest Mexican mango you can find at your supermarket. Unlike a salad with mangoes, or even a mango salsa, you want pulpy mangoes for lassi. So, if it's veering overripe that's totally fine.
Slicing the mangoes to get the most out of it:
Mangoes are tricky to slice. But they're not hard once you get the hang of it. Use a thin knife, and slice the mango into thirds - you'll find that the center portion has the seed and is a bit thicker than the other two. Cut the pulp of the two side pieces in a criss-cross pattern, and then scoop it out.
For the center portion: carefully, remove the peel. Then, using your knife, feel for where the seed is. Trim off the pulp along the edges around it. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty? Just wash your hands thoroughly and squeeze the remaining pulp out with your hands (this was how my grandmother did it, but she is more brave and dexterous compared to me).
Use non-fat yogurt: The quality and type of yogurt is super important. I like to use non-fat Greek yogurt for this homemade mango lassi recipe. But I've also had friends use sweetened regular yogurts, kefir, or even vanilla yogurts here. If you're vegan, almond yogurt works the best with this recipe. Other varieties leave an aftertaste.
Use milk to get the right consistency: Some Indian lassi recipes use just yogurt but I like to use milk so the end result is not super thick. I like to use skim milk in this recipe. If you're vegan, I recommend almond milk.
Sugar: I like to use granulated sugar in this recipe, but I often adjust this to the inherent sweetness of the mangoes. Is mango lassi a dessert? Some would argue that it is. If you agree, you can increase the sugar amounts I recommend in this recipe. No judgment. You can also substitute honey here.
Other toppings: My mom would often add cardamom to my mango lassi, or occasionally garnish with saffron to make it ultra decadent. You can also add rosewater while you blend it, or top off with mint for a fresh finish. I've also seen pistachios or almonds as garnishes, or even frozen mango chunks.
Wondering what to eat when you're drinking your mango lassi? Check out these delicious, authentic and simple Indian recipes to get started.
- Blender (I use a Vitamix - but even a simple Nutribullet would do)
- 2 mangoes medium sized, can replace with mango pulp
- ½ cup Greek yogurt unsweetened - see notes for vegan version
- ½ cup milk see notes for vegan version
- 1 tbsp sugar can substitute with honey, or leave out if mangoes are sweet already
- Optional: If you're able to, slice the mangoes into small chunks and then pop them into the freezer for about 30 minutes
- Add chopped mangoes or mango pulp, yogurt, milk, and sugar into the blender along with optional spices and blend like a smoothie - add ice cubes or more milk to adjust to your desired consistency
- Optional: garnish with your choice of toppings and serve chilled!
- To chop up the mangoes, slice them into thirds, and then scoop out each of the sides and then use a thin knife to get the pulp around the hard seed
- To make this vegan, use almond yogurt and almond milk instead
- Garnish with saffron, pistachios, almonds, rose water, or cardamom powder
- Adjust the sugar to your taste and the inherent sweetness of mangoes - you can also adjust the thickness of the lassi by adding a few ice cubes while you're blending or increasing the amount of milk!