Overripe: Indian Mango Lassi

Put your overripe mangoes (or any other fruit) to good use in this refreshing, cool, cardamom and yogurt-based Indian drink done in 5 minutes. Inspired by Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Garbage” episode on Mind of a Chef: “Eat the garbage! I freaking love the garbage!”

Indian flag India


LET’S TALK ABOUT using all your food and limiting waste. I, of course, just caught up with Mind of a Chef on Netflix, and one of the episodes that called my attention most was Gabrielle Hamilton’s “Garbage” (season 4 episode 2) episode. She underscores the importance of using everything possible in what we cook and eat. I agree with her, there is too much waste and too many wasted opportunities with the amount we generally waste as Americans. I love that she uses a broth 4 different times, starting with an octopus broth, to a “porkupus” broth, to a chorizo broth, and ultimately a periwinkle broth. That is awesome. After watching this, food waste really weighed heavily on my mind. I was raised to always clean your plate and to not waste food. I still hold on to that and can’t bear to waste something even at a buffet. It’s true, there is no reason to waste food. After watching that episode, I took a Mind of a Chef survey about my own food waste and that was really cool to go through. I can safely say that I have little food waste. How do I do this? A few ways. Because my husband is a law student right now and we have a limited budget, I plan every meal and every portion. I pair together recipes that use one ingredient as many times as I can to use it up. For example, if I want to make my Chicken Gyros with Caper Tzatziki Sauce (I’m working on the photos!), I know I will end up making an Indian dish, like Fresh: Chicken Tikka MasalaTreat Yo’ Self! Aziz and Fatima Ansari’s Chicken Korma, or Dinner + Movie: Stevie Parle’s (Turkish) Barbecued Yogurt-Marinated Lamb Chops to also use the yogurt I buy, etc. etc. It goes for the scraps, too. Veggie or fruit scraps? Throw them into a salad, smoothie, omelette, or stir fry. Bones? Save them (in the freezer till you have enough) to make a good pho, ramen, or this Something Special: Dweji Gukbap (Korean Pork Bone Rice Soup). Chicken skin? Save it to render down and make liquid gold smaltz, and use it in this incredible recipe I am saving chicken skin for myself, from the incredible Lady and Pups, Bunker Crack Slurp Noodles. That’s why meal planning is so crucial for me saving money and saving ingredients. I also recently saw that Zero Point Zero Productions (Anthony Bourdain!) and Mind of a Chef team are making a food wasting documentary called “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.” I love that we are shedding light on how to stop wasting so much food. So, go watch Gabrielle Hamilton’s episode on Netflix to get you motivated!

LET’S TALK ABOUT overripe fruit. This Lassie is better the riper the fruit gets. You can use anything you want, from traditional mango to strawberry to banana (or you could use your blackened bananas for Christina Tosi’s Banana Cream Pie from season 1 episode 5 “Rotten”). The riper the fruit, the deeper the flavor and the less sugar you need. I use the mango that I wouldn’t normally eat just peeled, but I wouldn’t use a rotting mango, so, soft but obviously not rotten. Now, this recipe can be a little finicky depending on your ingredients. I always have Fage Greek yogurt and that is what I, therefore, use. I recommend any other full-fat yogurt because other brands other than Fage put thickeners in their 0-2% yogurts that give this a chalky texture. If you can get legit Indian-style yogurt, then go for it! Then, depending on the thickness of your yogurt, and if your fruit is frozen or fresh, determines how much ice you may want to use. I like mine on the thick side, but it’s traditionally pretty loose, so most of the time you won’t need ice at all, especially if your fruit is frozen. Also, depending on the sweetness of your mangoes determines how much sweetener you want to use and how sweet you like this. With that being said, here is a really great general recipe and then you can just adjust it to your liking.


Like from my post Fresh: Chicken Tikka Masala, this recipe is also from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla. GET THIS BOOK! It has very recipe you could want in it (ok, ok, except Saag) from the traditional Indian dishes we get at our favorite restaurants. She has options for -everyone- depending if you’re vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, etc. so there is an option for everyone. The only things I change are that I use ground cardamom to avoid just cardamom seeds in random bites and then I use overripe mangoes instead of frozen but you can use frozen ones, the flavor just may not be as deep depending on the brand. Get a good brand; it does make a difference (sorry Walmart, your frozen mangoes suck).

WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT making great Indian food: fellow WordPress blogger Rani and his blog India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine who also shares the research done on health benefits of Indian food; Anupy Singla , author of many Indian recipe books including Indian for Everyone, my go-to Indian cookbook with all the classics; British food columnist Mallika Basu @MallikaBasu_ of Quick Indian Cooking; Madhur Jaffrey @madhursworld of England’s program Curry Nation; Farrukh Aziz and her blog Cubes N Juliennes; for someone to blow your mind and everything you thought about Indian food, Chef Gaggan Anan @GAGGANBANGKOK of Gaggan; Dassana of Veg Recipes of India.


Overripe: Indian Mango Lassi

Overripe: Indian Mango Lassi. Winner for Team Korea!

Indian Mango Lassi

Adapted from Indian for Everyone, easy-level fuss, serves 6-8, about 5 minutes to make.


2 cups plain yogurt, such as Fage

1 cup milk

500 grams (about 2) overripe large mangoes, chilled if possible, peeled and flesh removed from seed (or 3 cups frozen mango chunks or any other fruit you like)

3/4 tsp ground cardamom

1+ TBS raw sugar, such as Sucanat, turbinado, or agave nectar, to taste depending on the sweetness of your fruit

about 1 cup ice, if needed/as needed


mint leaves and 10-12 crushed pistachios

  1. Add all the Lassi ingredients to a powerful blender and blend until completely smooth, 1-2 minutes. Taste with a separate spoon and see if any sweetener or ice is needed to thicken. It should have the consistency of a drinkable yogurt. Once to your liking, pour into glasses and garnish with a small mint leaf and a large pinch of crushed pistachios. Serve.

Try this out and let me know how it went for you in the comments! Good? Confusing? Clear? I’d love to hear from you so I can present the best form of these recipes!


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