Those of you who came to our Bain-Marie pop-up at Goldfinger Factory last summer (2015) may have already experienced this golden beauty and it was indeed one of our most popular smoothies. It certainly is one of my favourites.
This delicious recipe is a nutritional twist on an Indian classic that will nourish you from the inside out and have your tastebuds dancing in celebration. For those of you wondering, a mango lassi is a traditional Indian beverage of fresh mango blended with plain yoghurt and sugar, and proudly graces the menu of every Indian restaurant all over the world as let’s face it, it’s so bloody dam delicious! And though the Mango Lassi in its original form is nutritious and has some health benefits, nowadays they are often made with loads of refined sugar, questionable sources of dairy and sometimes used tinned mango or mango juice from concentrate instead of the fresh fruit. OH NO! So this bad boy right here is going to transform the mango lassi back into what it was designed to be a powerful healing elixir bursting with nutrition!
I remember the moment when I came up with this recipe, it felt like a real eureka moment… “How have I never thought of this before? But of course YES YES YES! Let’s make a mango lassi with kefir instead of yoghurt. A Mango Klassi.” Needless to say even before actually trying it, I knew it would work and it would be heavenly.
Kefir is a probiotic-rich cultured beverage made by fermenting whole milk (ideally raw and goat) and has been used to promote health and longevity for millennia, originally hailing from the Black Caucasus Mountains of Russia. Why is kefir so much cooler than yoghurt? Here's why. Though kefir is similar to drinking yoghurt, ordinary yoghurt has “transient” bacteria which are killed off by the digestive system, whereas kefir has “non-transient” bacteria which survive the digestive process, and create a lasting effect inside the gut. A happy gut is a happy body and mind.
So using kefir as the base for the lassi instead of regular yoghurt, still gives it that desired tang, a wonderful frothy texture and even more probiotic goodness than your average yoghurt. And the final touch of magic was my inclination to add a generous dose of warming and antioxidant-rich spices to the mix with a pinch of turmeric and cinnamon, lifting this creamy probiotic elixir to new heights. Truly golden sunshine in a glass.
For our vegan friends, you can replace the milk kefir with coconut kefir or coconut yoghurt (I love Coyo and Rebel Kitchen’s new raw coconut yoghurt, available at Ocado, get your hands on some).
And so there you have it, I present to you the Mango Klassi in all its glorious goldenness. I love the colour yellow, it makes me happy, such a sunny colour, full of light and possibilities. I don’t know if this is because my room was yellow when I was growing up, but I really do love yellow, it’s such a happy colour and notice that I’m drawn to yellow foods like mangoes, turmeric, yellow tomatoes and of course the majestic egg as well as yellow flowers daffodils and sunflowers… Yellow just makes the world a brighter, lighter and happier place. So start fermenting some kefir (or go buy some) and make some Mango Klassis and drink yourself yellow!