Mango Lassi (Mango yogurt shake)

The king has arrived again! This time he arrived a little late, I thought he looked a little weak - but two weeks later - he reaches out handsomely in his splendid orange coat, tantalizes our tongues and has us swooning at his feet, as always. He makes me weak in my knees..................

I know I am not the only one baring my heart out over those yummy, healthy, ok...weight adding, sunshiny things called 'ALPHONSO' or 'HAPUS' of 'aamchi mumbai' ('Our own Mumbai' for non-Mumbaikars)! No wonder the mango is our National Fruit. March usually announces the season's earliest mangoes - the hapus. The prices are naturally sky high in the beginning but usually by mid-April they are available at a reasonable price. This year, the unseasonal rains claimed the first batch of mangoes, and devastated the taste and texture. My husband being a true to heart Mumbaikar, starts buying mangoes as soon as they arrive but this year they were not as sweet. They were more water filled and less juicy. YET WE ATE them! This week we got some really good mangoes - a good sign for the next batch, and I have gone absolutely berserk creating all possible dishes with it.

We had 'aam ka panna', 'manga thayir perukku', 'mango cream short cake' already! This year I was also keen to try out all possible mango recipes, since my children would miss the later batches! They have left today and safely reached my parent's place where they will spend the next one month of the summer vacations. By the time they get back alphonso will be on its way out giving way to more humbler, but tasty varieties of mangoes such as neelum, langda and dasheri in Mumbai.

To satisfy them, I also made the mango ice-cream as given by Bharathy of Spicy chilly, and whisked a mango yogurt shake/smoothie/lassi for all of us. I usually beat the summer heat with natural juices such as lime and watermelon, mango milk shakes and the easiest and best of the lot - chaas/buttermilk!

This morning I decided to try my neighbour - M Aunty's heat beater - Aam ki lassi! Until I met her I had never heard of lassi with mangoes. It was always mango milk shake for me! This was made only for variety, but in posterity - I think it is here to stay! Even, my fussy son who generally feels mangoes are best cut and eaten as fruits liked it very much, and hold it......asked for more :) Another thing I liked about this lassi was that it did not require much sugar, as the mangoes gave enough of that, and did not feel as heavy as the typical Punjabi lassi!

Easycrafts has announced a 'Fun 'n' sun' event at the right moment with this cute logo. The power cuts (3hours a day!!) and the water shortage which seems to have become a routine problem in Thane only aggravate the heat, and it is at this time of the day that the coolers are most effective. Here is my recipe to grin n bear the situation.

Ripe mangoes
(There was some fruit stuck to the seed and skin after scooping out the pulp for the mango ice cream from yester - I kept them immersed in a little water, and extracted the pulp today for the lassi)
Fresh yogurt/curd/dahi
Sugar/dates to taste

Extract pulp from the mangoes. Whisk the dahi. Pulse the pulp and dahi in a mixer alongwith chopped seedless dates or sugar. Add a little milk while grinding if you would like a thinner consistency. Chill and serve garnished with a few pieces of mango and crushed ice.

(Bharathy's eggless mango ice cream was too good - that will be my next post!)

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