This Mango Elaichi Coconut Lassi combines ripe fruit & coconut milk for a dairy-free version of a perennial favourite.
My favourite spice is cardamom. I simmer elaichi in my chai, season my rice with it, add it to my summer fruit crumble, mix it into honey – anything that sort of makes sense.
I also love yogurt and dahi, so there has been a deep void in my life because of my dairy allergy. I’ve tried soy yogurt, almond yogurt and coconut yogurt, and they’re all poor imitations of the real thing.
One day I was craving mango lassi so I started experimenting, and the result was refreshing, indulgent, and so satisfying.
I tried this recipe with coconut milk which produces a smoother, more decadent lassi that would compliment a light meal or work well as dessert. The more traditional yogurt version is much more tart (which I like) and will suit more rich dishes like this dairy-free butter chicken or pakoras.
Mango Cardamom Coconut Lassi
1.5 cups of fresh or frozen mango defrosted in the fridge for about an hour
2/3 cup coconut milk or yogurt
Seeds from 3 to 4 cardamom pods
Honey to taste (I used less than 1 teaspoon for coconut milk and 1.5 teaspoons for yogurt)
Fresh lime juice to taste
Add everything but the lime juice to a blender and blend on high til smooth. Add water to thin if the lassi is too thick. Squeeze lime juice into the blender and mix. Taste test and add more lime juice or honey as desired.
Tip 1: If you use frozen mangoes, the lassi turns into a thick smoothie. I prefer a non-icy drink, so I let my frozen mango defrost in a bowl in the fridge for about an hour.
Tip 2: Some people like using mango pulp found in cans or cartons when fresh mangoes aren’t available. I find the taste is much more concentrated so add a small amount first and add more to the blender based on taste. Add the honey afterwards as mango pulp tends to be sweeter than frozen or fresh mangoes.
Tip 3: Despite by dairy allergy, I felt fine when I drank chai and ate yogurt while travelling in northern India last year. I found out that most of the milk is from water buffalos, not jersey cows like in North America, so I tracked down a water buffalo dairy in BC, and have since enjoyed creamy yogurt created from water buffalo milk by Tesfa Farms. It’s high in protein and calcium, and has been easy on my stomach. I buy it at Whole Foods in Vancouver, but for those in Toronto, I also tried a different brand of water buffalo yogurt found at FreshCo over the summer.