True to form, D.C. has transitioned directly from winter to summer within a week’s time. It is 85 degrees here and sunny, and a short lunchtime walk left me sweating in my long sleeved shirt and jeans. In honor of the abrupt change of seasons, I’m featuring a sweet and cool drink: a vegan mango lassi made with coconut milk.
I first mentioned this recipe in my Food52 column about coconut milk as a versatile and wonderful ingredient. A few of my readers asked me to share the recipe itself here on the site. I’m happy to do so—and it’s such an easy recipe! I hope you’ll enjoy it, and savor it as a midday refresher or after dinner treat as temperatures climb.
- 2 heaping cups of frozen mango chunks
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk and ½ cup coconut water, OR use 1 cup light coconut milk
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scooped out (I use a spoon to do this)
- ½ tsp garam masala spice (readily available at grocery stores and online)
- 1 pitted date
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Add extra coconut milk as needed to obtain the desired consistency. This drink would be delicious with a sprig of fresh mint!
Those dark flecks you see in the photograph are vanilla beans from the fresh vanilla. This is a costly ingredient, for sure, but ever since I ordered a bunch, I’ve found that it makes a tremendous difference in my recipes. You can order a quarter of a pound for about $15 on Amazon; a luxury, to be sure, but a small amount goes a very long way (and vanilla extract isn’t cheap, either). If you don’t use the vanilla bean, rest assured that vanilla extract will still make a very tasty beverage.
Mango isn’t my favorite fruit, but with the addition of cardamom (a prominent flavor in the garam masala spice blend) and vanilla, it’s hard not to go crazy for this drink. Enjoy it—stay cool—and I’ll be back soon.