- Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan option
- Quick, healthy sweet treat
Mango lassi is a refreshing yogurt based favorite drink that is very popular in Indian restaurants. The good news is you can very easily make it at home! Since mango is a summer fruit this is synonymous as a summer drink, luckily you can find canned mango pulp all year round so you can enjoy the drink year-round. The mango pulp used in the recipe can be either canned (tinned) or made from fresh mangos (like aamras).
Lassi is pronounced luh-see, not Lassie like the dog and refers to yogurt based Indian drinks. There are many variations. Two popular ones are Sweet Lassi and a Salty lassi. Other types include Rose Lassi, Chocolate Lassi and Strawberry Lassi. Really any fruit can be mixed in to make your own version of a creamy lassi.
If you are a mango lover like me, check out mango recipes like Mango Shrikhand Cheesecake, Mango Cheesecake Popsicles, Mango Habanero Salsa, Mango Milkshake or Mango Ginger Margarita to make during mango season!
How do you make a good mango lassi?
A good mango lassi is made by using good, sweet mangoes (preferably Champagne, Kesar or Indian Alphonso Mangoes) and choosing whole milk yogurt and milk to make a delicious, creamy and frothy drink. The type of mango used is key to getting good taste.
Ingredients & Substitutes
You only need 4 ingredients for an authentic mango lassi with the option of other ingredients.
Mango lassi is made of yogurt, mango pulp, sugar and milk or water. It can be optionally flavored using spices such as saffron, cardamom or even ginger powder.
Yogurt: The main ingredient is yogurt / curd. The creamier, thicker lassi you want, the higher fat content yogurt you should use. I recommend using whole milk plain yogurt or Greek Yogurt. If I want a delicious rich lassi, I go all out and use Fage 5% Greek Yogurt.
Mango Pulp: The key ingredient! Whether you are using fresh mango chunks or canned mango pulp, make sure to use a good, sweet variety of mangoes.
Indian mangoes are best (Alphonso or Kesar), however, if you are in the US I love to use Champagne or Ataulfo mangoes which are more readily found.
At Indian stores you will find canned mango pulp for the Alphonso and Kesar varieties. Look for brands without added sugar so you can control the amount of sweetener to your personal preference. Or, if you have a can with sugar you can skip adding it.
Milk or Water: Similar to above, if you want a creamier lassi, use whole milk. If you’d like a lighter version, use 2% milk or water. You can also adjust the amount of milk / water to get the consistency to your preference.
Sugar: Dependent on the sweetness of your mango, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar. Feel free to use sugar alternatives or the sweetener of your choice that you enjoy.
Note, honey does not mix well with cold liquid so I don’t recommend using it here (you could boil it with milk/water and chill it prior to adding to the lassi). Maple syrup does blend with cold drinks though.
Saffron and cardamom: Saffron strands and a touch of cardamom add a delicious depth of flavor. You can optionally use both or one of them.
Half and half: Optional I like the option of half and half (because most people have it on hand and it is made of half whole milk and half heavy cream) to up the level of creaminess easily, no matter the ingredients you have at home. You can also add in a little fresh cream / heavy whipping cream to up the richness of the delicious drink.
Garnish optionally with crushed pistachios or crushed rose petals for a pop of color
Note the longer you let strands of saffron soak in the lassi, the stronger the taste will become.
Sweet lassi without sugar: As noted above, you can use any sweetener you prefer. Be careful with honey as it doesn’t blend with cold liquid well.
Vegan Mango Lassi: Substitute with vegan yogurt and milk to make it vegan. Oat milk is creamy and thick so I recommend using that.
Light version: See below for notes on making a lighter version.
Rosewater can also be added for a twist!
How to make mango lassi
Making lassi is a choose your adventure recipe (or choose what you have on hand in your fridge!).
- If you want a thick, creamy restaurant style lassi, go with all higher fat content ingredients. For example, whole milk, whole milk plain yogurt, half & half and sugar.
- If you want a middle of the road lassi, mix and match. Maybe you will use whole milk yogurt, water, half and half (for a tiny bit of creaminess) and sugar.
- Or, you could go for a lighter version. In that case, maybe you will pick a low-fat yogurt such as 2% Fage Greek Yogurt or other yogurt, water and sugar.
Making authentic Indian mango lassi
Authentic lassi is made of only yogurt (whole milk), milk (whole milk), mango pulp and sugar. The addition of cardamom and saffron is optional.
To make the lassi either cut the mango into pieces or measure out the pulp and other ingredients. Then, add all ingredients to a blender and blend!
The blender gets it nice and frothy.
You can play around with the amount of water/milk as well to make a thicker lassi. Less water and ice cubes will still result in a yummy drink.
Pour cold mango lassi into serving glasses and you will get a creamy, frothy top. It is usually served in tall glasses at restaurants.
Lassi goes along with any Indian food or spicy Indian meal. It’s a great way to finish an Indian dinner as its sweet like a dessert.
Enjoy making this popular drink at home!
What Is Mango Lassi? + Recipe Using Mango Pulp (Fresh or Canned)
- 1 Blender
- ½ cup mango pulp 1 mango, 260g pulp
- 1 cup yogurt whole milk for creamier
- ½ cup milk or water whole milk for creamier
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 5-6 ice cubes
- ⅛ tsp cardamom powder optional
- ¼ tsp saffron strands optional
- 2 tbsp half and half optional, or heavy cream (for added creamy taste)
- crushed pistachios optional, garnish
- To make the lassi either cut the mango into pieces or measure out the pulp and other ingredients. Then, add all ingredients to a blender and blend!