mango and cardamom lassi recipe


You know what I have been eating for breakfast these past few days? Beautiful, big mangoes brought for a measly 50cents from the shop down the road! I had feared we were too late for cheap aussie mangoes, but we seem to still be in luck.
Would you believe me if I said I was already 18 years old when I tasted my first mango? Well, yes. It is true. Coming from New Zealand, the only mangoes available are icky, sappy, flavourless ones, imported from Peru. I ate a few mangoes when I lived in Sydney, after leaving school, but it wasn’t until I moved to Bryon Bay, N.S.W, a few years later that I really fell hard for their tropical loveliness.

One of my best friends, Grace and I moved to Byron with the lofty idea of working and saving money to get back to India. I never did make it back there; instead I meet Si and traveled back to Perth, before moving back home to NZ to work, buy a house, have babies, blah, blah, blah.... 
My friend Grace, actually just this past year made it to India, spending 6 months traveling throughout India and Nepal before (thankfully) arriving home to NZ just before we left to come here. I don’t feel like I could have got through the madness of the past month or so, had she not been there to lend a hand. She doesn’t even realize her greatness. For me it is always  the “little” things she does, like her cleaning my windows when I didn’t have the time, entertaining the kids to keep them from killing each other, while I packed, taking Ada out to pick up our last dinner of fish & chips (what else?), and turning up with freshly backed gluten-free treats for the plane ride over.
Bless her.
My god how I’ve digressed! It does all make sense though, I promise. It’s just that when I think of mangoes, I invariably think of Grace. It was with her, that I shared my first “real” mango, after hitching to some random market somewhere just north of Byron Bay. We had barely enough money to eat, having only just arrived and with no jobs as yet. We brought a few gorgeous, plump mangoes, sat down under the shade of a tree and ate.
Sticky mango juice, dribbling down our arms.
Later, after meeting Si, he and I would eat freshly picked mangoes that he’d stash during his overnight security guard shift at the local backpackers; we called home for 8 months. They grew on tress hanging over the swimming pool; no one else seemed to even notice them dangling down, teasingly. We have never been one’s to let fruit go to waste, so he would pick them late at night, while everyone else was asleep. I would be awoken the next morning, to fresh mangoes for breakfast before heading off to work at a local organic restaurant.

I have been filled with much nostalgia, as I’ve stood, leaning over the sink sucking the last remaining goodness from the pips, sweet juice running down my hands this morning. I actually have been lucky to get any mango at all. With Ada around, you have to be fast if you want to get anything more than the pip! Even as a 8 month old baby, she would polish off a whole mango by herself, when we first traveled with her, to Perth.
With our current housing situation, as mentioned in my last post. I haven’t been managing to cook anything blog worthy, but with mangoes as cheap as they are, making a mango lassi for the kids was too easy. I’ve used Harvey Fresh lactose-free yoghurt to make this, I’ve never seen “lactose-free” yoghurt available in NZ, well not around Raglan anyway. But I know you can make your own using easi-yo sachets. And of course if you tolerate regular yoghurt, just use that. Greek yoghurt produces a lovely, thick lassi.
For Graceful, with love xxx

mango and cardamom lassi recipe
Of course, this recipe can be altered to make as much or as little as you want. To serve more, simple double up this recipe, or halve for less. This makes enough for 4 small glasses or two large ones, if you're are feeling greedy 🙂  The only cardamom I could get my hands on, from the funny little supermarket down the road was pre-ground. I would usually buy the whole seeds and grind as needed, and I would recommend doing this if you can. Start out with just adding 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom and go from there, until it suits your tastes.
Serves 2-4.

  • 1 cup (250g) plain lactose-free yoghurt
  • 1 cup (250ml) pure orange juice
  • 1 large (or two small) mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom * see headnotes above for more info

Place all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Too easy! Enjoy.

P.S If you want to keep my darling lemon thyme in Babble's top 100 mom food blogs, please vote here. I'm listed under my name "Emma Galloway". I'm currently 17th!!??!! Many thanks 🙂

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  • Reply
    March 22, 2011 at 2:12 am

    wow these look so yum ! I have a sad mango from Peru on the bench – this is its destiny !

  • Reply
    March 22, 2011 at 3:35 am

    the best way to use up those lovely imported ones from Peru 😉

  • Reply
    March 22, 2011 at 4:38 am

    mmmmmmmmmm…mango lassi is the best! with cardomom, yum!!!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2011 at 6:12 am

    This looks wonderfully refreshing! A good mango is just divine, especially eaten over the sink with the juice running down your arms! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan
    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I love all things indian food! especially a smoothie 🙂

    I just started this healthy food photo sharing site:

    I would love it if you submitted your pretty food photos! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 25, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Yum! Reminds me of beachy summer days. Great story too. And good luck in the Babble poll – my vote is in! 🙂

  • Reply
    The Healthy Apple
    March 26, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Yummy; I love your blog. So beautiful and fresh.
    So happy to have found another amazing gluten-free gal! Love it.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    It is so sad that we don't have plump, juicy, flavourful mangoes available in New Zealand. I have a mango dessert recipe sitting on my bench that I printed from the Internet yesterday so I am hoping that our local supermarket has at least some of the less loved Peru mangoes this week. But then again, the last ones I bought were so bad that I couldn't even use them.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Could you use milk kefir in this recipe? Just a thought…I am new to milk kefir (having been given some) and have been thinking about what to do with it. Thanks! Allison

    • Reply
      August 12, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Yes absolutely Alison! It would be perfect in here. I use milk kefir as I would yoghurt/buttermilk in smoothies and baking recipes xx

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