"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer" - Albert Camus.
If you have never had the pleasure of trying a lassi (pronounced lah-see), an Indian yogurt "smoothie", you are in for a treat! My favorite has always been mango, especially when the Kent variety is available, but with a little creativity, one can create a lassi that serves you best at any given moment. Today I adapted a recipe that I found on a wonderful website called The Lotus and the Artichoke vegan recipes. I actually had one organic Kent on hand, but I also used some frozen mango as well to make my desired number of lassis. Below I've added the delicious recipe that I used to make a floral spiced mango drink, along with my notes. Despite the enduring winter, I hope that you will shift to a warmer weather mindset and try this dreamy golden ambrosia or create your own version (I would love to hear your recipes!).
Vegan Lassi – with Saffron & Mango serves 2 / time: 10 min (+chilling time)
No saffron in the house: Skip steps 1+2, use cold water for step 4. No rose water or cardamom: admittedly, not for everyone. Simply omit. Savory Indian vegan lassi: Skip steps 1+2. Omit mango, sugar, rose water. Use cold water and plain yogurt. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of fresh ground cumin. Garnish with a splash of tamarind mixed with agave or maple syrup.
~I went more traditional and used plain non-vegan yogurt (Greek).
~As noted above, I used one fresh mango and the rest frozen mango chunks (Trader Joe's is a great source for that). Because of the frozen mangoes, I omitted the ice cubes).
~I substituted raw honey for the suggested sweetener.
~I always have rose water, cardamom and saffron on hand, so I used all of these. With the abundance of Indian markets in the Naperville area, these ingredients are easily found. I doubled the amount of rose water because I love the floral notes. For the cardamom, I always use whole pods: using a mortar and pestle, gently crack the pods; remove the seeds and then grind with the pestle.
~I added the saffron and the water, as well as more water to make it thin enough to easily drink.
~Because my mint is under the snow, I used the mortar and pestle to lightly crush some shelled pistachios and used as garnish.
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