Its been just two weeks since I came back from India. However, the arrival of summer-like temperatures is making me nostalgic about my trip. Before the monsoon arrives in early June, Bombay is enveloped by punishing heat and oppressive humidity. The hardy souls who venture where angels fear to tread are rewarded by the seasonal bounty of ripe Hapoos mangoes. In my biased opinion, they are the best tasting mangoes in the world.
When ripe, they are a bright reddish orange. When you bite into it, the mango has a velvety texture that melts in your mouth but it’s the heady sweet bouquet of ripening mangoes that draws you in, in the first place.
When I was in India I ate a Hapoos mango almost everyday, sometimes twice in a single day. I ate it by itself, in yogurt, juiced (aamras), with clotted cream, in an ice-cream and in kulfi. If you have never tasted Hapoos, you should put it on your bucket list. The Hapoos season is brief, late April until the arrival of the monsoon. There is no real substitute for the Hapoos but Ataulfo mangoes are somewhat similar.
To welcome summer, I am going to post recipes using mangoes in the next few days. I am starting with a recipe for mango lassi. If you have any specific requests email me or leave it in the comments below.
A Green mango on a tree, in my friend’s garden in Lonavla.
2 cups frozen or fresh ripe mangoes (I use the frozen mangoes from Trader Joe)
2 cups nonfat or 2% yogurt
2 tbsp sugar (more if you want the lassi to be sweeter)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
If using frozen mangoes, thaw them. I usually add the sugar and the salt when I am thawing the mangoes. If you have never diced a fresh mango, there are step by step instructions here. Use a blender to blend everything together. Serve chilled. You can add some fresh mint or basil for a variation. You can also leave out the grated nutmeg and cardamom if you don’t have them at hand.