Anyone who has ever been on holiday in India or Nepal knows it all too well: lassi. A refreshing yogurt-based drink. It is not without reason that this is sometimes called the oldest smoothie in the world. We will explain everything about the oldest smoothie in het world further down in the article. But let us first have a look at the recipe for mango lassi with saffron and cardamom.
How to make mango lassi with saffron and cardamom
Mango lassi is a delicious smoothie based on yogurt and mango. For this recipe I added coconut water. That is currently one of my favorite drinks to add to a smoothie. The spices saffron and cardamom are optional. You can also add some honey as a sweetener if you wish.
Peeling the mango
For lassi and other smoothies with mango, it is important that you work with the ripe fruit. This is much sweeter and juicier. Peel the mango with a vegetable peeler. Be careful, because the flesh is slippery. And before you know it, your mango will slip away with unforeseeable consequences.
Once the mango has been peeled, you can cut away the flesh around the pit. A mango has a narrow elongated pit. That is why it is best to first cut the flesh lengthwise. Once you know roughly where the pit is, you can cut away the last bits along the pit.
Finally, we cut the flesh into large pieces that we then put in the blender.
The yogurt and the coconut water
Yogurt is the basis for all different types of lassi. But with only yogurt, the lassi will be very thick. It is therefore advisable to dilute the yoghurt with another liquid. For this reason I also do not use Greek yogurt to make lassi. It is much thicker than traditional yogurt.
To dilute this mango lassi with saffron and cardamom, I used coconut water. This is currently one of my new favorite health drinks. It is healthy, low in calories and high in electrolytes. This makes it an ideal recovery drink for athletes. Some other coconut water smoothies I like to drink are:
But of course there are also alternatives to coconut water. Traditionally, these smoothies are often made with milk. On hot summer days, cold water or ice cubes are certainly an alternative.
With saffron and cardamom
In itself, this mango smoothie can already stand on its own two feet. But the saffron and cardamom give just that extra taste and aroma that transport your mind instantly into other cultures.
You can use cardamom powder, or even better cardamom pods. Then take two pods and remove the hard skin from them. Then crush it with a knife and add the crushed cardamom to the blender. You can also use cardamom powder, which I did in this case. A quarter teaspoon is enough.
Do you want to learn more about cardamom? Then be sure to take a look at the following pages:
- Cardamom - Wikipedia.
- What is cardamom and how do you use it? (allrecipes).
- What is cardamom? (The spruce eats).
Saffron, on the other hand, gives a wonderfully sweet aroma and colors your lassi very nicely. Saffron is used as a coloring agent in many Persian and oriental dishes. For example, to color rice nicely yellow. That way you immediately know why this mango lassi colors so intensively yellow. But saffron does not only add to the colours, it also tastes and smells heavenly. It has a sweet aroma that is best comparable to honey. So sweeten without sweetener. Perfectly healthy. And you will notice that the sweet aroma also takes over your kitchen and living room. However, saffron is not cheap. But because it is so intensive you only need a few threads or a knife tip. So don't overdo it with saffron.
Do you want to learn more about saffron? Then be sure to take a look at the following pages:
- Saffron - Wikipedia.
- What is saffron? (The spruce eats).
- 11 impressive health benefits of saffron (Healthline).
Everything you always wanted to know about lassi.
As mentioned earlier, lassi is sometimes described as the oldest smoothie in the world. And with good reason: the first references to lassi go back to 1000 BC in ancient Indian Ayurvedic texts. There it was already described as a mixed yogurt drink. The oldest smoothie in the world.
There are different types of lassi: sweet, salty and natural. With a sweet lassi, fruits such as mango, banana and pineapple are traditionally added to the blender. In addition to yogurt and salt, a salty lassi also contains herbs such as cumin and/or mint.
To understand why lassi is so typical for India, you have to understand the continent. It can be extremely hot over there. As a result, people not only lose moisture, but also minerals and salt must be replenished. And this yogurt drink is perfect for that. It quenches thirst, is tasty and, depending on the variant, you also get the necessary portion of vitamins and minerals.
Want to learn more about lassi? Then take a look at the articles below:
- Lassi - Wikipedia.
- Lassi recipes, origin and history (Cocktailways).
- History of lassi, the yogurt drink (Desiblitz).
Mango is a fantastic fruit. Which I really got to know and appreciate for the first time on La Gomera, during a walk where we went horribly wrong. Mangoes then saved us from hunger and thirst. You can find more tasty recipes with mango here:
- Exotic coconut rice with mango.
- Mango coconut milk mousse.
- Goat cheese mango salad with saffron syrup.
- Healthy coconut water smoothie.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.