Summer is South Asian mango season. Indian grocery stores carry sweet, fragrant varieties like Kesar and Alphonso. And if you’re lucky, you can sample velvety, out-of-this-world Pakistani mangoes. Priced at $10 per mango, at least in some shops in the Chicago area where I live, they are a luxurious treat – practically the equivalent of dessert at a fancy restaurant.
My mother-in-law, who grew up in Pakistan, has been buying up Indian and Pakistani mangoes for her dairy-free version of lassi, a popular South Asian smoothie. With homemade almond milk in place of yogurt, her recipe is less mango lassi and more milkshake, and takes just minutes to make. The almond milk is nearly instant, prepared in a blender with soaked, peeled almonds just before tossing in the mangoes, and tastes infinitely better than anything store bought.
4 mangoes, preferably an Indian or Pakistani variety, peeled and cut into pieces
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight in water and peeled
Water, to cover the almonds
- Place peeled almonds (with soaking water removed) in the bowl of a blender. Add enough water to fully cover the almonds. Blend well. Strain almond and water mixture through a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or fine mesh strainer. Save almond pulp for use in another recipe, if desired.
- Rinse blender, and pour in almond milk. Add mango pieces, and blend until smooth. If using a less-sweet mango variety, add sugar to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Chicago-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog Bakerwithoutborders.