Nothing beats the sweltering summer heat like a glass of vegan Mango Lassi. My dairy-free version, reminiscent of Indian summers, is made with cashew yogurt, and it's as authentic-tasting as can be. Cardamom and vanilla complement the tangy sweetness of the mangoes. A gluten-free, soy-free and vegan recipe.
A testament to the universal fondness for mango is the fact that Mango Lassi, by far, is the food most often requested by friends coming over for dinner. When I first became a vegan, those requests fell silent because the key ingredient in lassi, of course, is buttermilk or yogurt. So a few years back, I came up with this vegan version that I shared with you. I wanted to update the recipe because I've since made some revisions that I love, like adding vanilla, and more mango puree to make the lassi even more mango-ey. At our home, it is a drink we always look forward to, especially with a spicy accompaniment like chana masala or vegetable biryani.
As children, my brother and I would sometimes go down to a dairy farm in the neighborhood to treat ourselves to some lassi. Now before you imagine a verdant pasture with cows, a "dairy farm" in Bombay was usually a small storefront that sold all sorts of dairy products like milk, ghee, butter and yogurt. The vendor would sit out front, stirring a huge wok of bubbling, reducing milk. He'd pour the sweet, cool buttermilk in tall, steel glasses, top it with a thick slice of cream, and hand it to you. It was divinity in a glass. But this vegan version of a Mango Lassi surpasses even those sweet memories.
I used alphonso puree, which I buy at the Indian grocery store, to make my Vegan Mango Lassi, but if you have access to fresh mangoes, use fresh puree. You can find fresh mangoes at some Indian grocery stores in the United States after the relaxation of federal import standards in 2006, but I have never been so lucky with the stores here. If you can't either, use a sweeter, softer-fleshed mango available here in North America, like the champagne mango, which tastes halfway decent.
More vegan mango recipes:
Vegan Mango Lassi
- 2 cups mango puree (made with fresh, ripe, preferably orange-fleshed mangoes. Canned mangoes are fine too)
- 1½ cups cashew yogurt
- 1½ cups cashew milk (or any nondairy milk)
- ½ tsp green cardamom powder
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup)
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into tall glasses over ice.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios or saffron or mint.