Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gourmet Today: Mango Lassi (p. 30)

In recognition of what the book's editors call "the return of the cocktail," Gourmet Today includes a "Drinks" chapter. Most of the chapter is dedicated to potent potables, including classic cocktails like the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the Martini and the Gimlet. There's also some of the more obscure gems like the Rob Roy and Pimm's Cup. There's some innovative cocktails, too, like a Limoncello and Mint Sparkler, and a Cucumber, Gigner and Sake Sangria. I'm sure that I'll come back to this chapter again and again.

But, for my first taste from the Drinks chapter, I chose this recipe for Mango Lassi from the non-alcoholic drinks section. I've never had lassi before, but I've learned that it's a very popular Indian drink made with yogurt. There are savory varieties made with cumin, and sweet varieties, like this one, flavored with fruit.

I really liked the flavor of this drink, but I wanted it to be thicker and colder -- more like a smoothie. And as I sit here typing this blog post and re-reading the recipe, I see that I made it wrong, and if I had made it correctly, it would have had the texture I wanted it to. You see, the ingredient list includes the following items: sweetened mango puree, sugar, whole-milk yogurt, crushed ice, lime juice, a pinch of salt, and ice cubes. The recipe says to blend all ingredients except ice cubes. Somehow, I interpreted this to mean that I wasn't supposed to blend any ice at all, and just simply serve the blended drink over ice cubes. I should have blended the crushed ice in with the other ingredients before pouring the mixture over the ice cubes. Oh, well, it was good anyway.

The other thing I wasn't too sure about was the sweetened mango puree. The closest thing I could find at Stop & Shop was this Goya sweetened mango nectar. My wife said that it's not the same thing, and she's probably right, since it was a bit thinner than what I'd expect a puree to look like. Again, it was good anyway.

So the bottom line on this one is that even with my omission of crushed ice and my substitution of mango nectar for the puree, this was still a very delicious and very refreshing drink. Now that I know what lassi is and how good it is, I'm going to seek it out. I'm looking forward to trying one of the savory varieties.

Date Cooked: September 13, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: A-


The Mediocre Cook said...

I was introduced to the Mango Lassi a few years ago when working close to a rather fantastic Indian restaurant. I would love to be able to replicate them at home!

Gila S said...

I LOVE mango lassis, although I've never made one at home. I get one whenever I'm at an Indian restaurant - it's the only time I ever order a beverage other than water (I'm not an alcohol drinker.)

Mango nectar is definitely different from mango puree. It's usually only about 20-30% mango; the rest is mostly water and sweeteners.

Cheryl Arkison said...

What about using frozen mango chunks instead of the puree and ice?