Monday, July 29, 2013

mango lassi

Well, today wraps up another week abroad traveling through Morocco (shoestring style). This is a place I'll need lots of time to process. Being my first trip to North Africa and the Arab world, Morocco has deepened my respect for Islam and, still, has challenged me culturally more than any other travel experience. I have to say, Ramadan here is quite different from my last summer in Istanbul!

Despite going most of the day without much food - a sort of halfsy Ramadan that visitors have no choice but to embrace - the food has been incredible. I can't wait to go home and make harira, a soup of which each city has its own version. Late Iftar dinners are filled with olives of all sorts, tagines, and pastilla. And, of course, mint tea. Throughout the day vendors will still sell fruits and nuts to us visitors (and the kids who are encouraged to fast for half days), and as I imagined they make some incredible smoothies. So, I prepared this post at home in preparation for a light, summery treat.  I hope it makes you feel exotic.

Looking forward to finding more good flavors to share with you next week in Portugal!

Ingredients (makes about 8 oz.):
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped (instructions below)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or any milk)
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt

The hardest part about all this is cutting the mango properly.  The good news is that if you botch it up, no one will know since its going in a blender.  However, you might as well learn how to cut up a mango, as follows:
Slice off the two oblong lobes of flesh from each side of the pit, leaving you with three pieces.  You can trim off any fleshy fruit from the sides of the pit, as well.
Score each lobe into cubes, cutting to the skin without puncturing it.

Here's the fun part - invert the lobe so the scored flesh pops out, allowing you to cut the cubes of mango from the skin with a knife.  You now have evenly cut mango.
Add that to a blender with the ice, milk, and yogurt.  Blend until smooth.  (As you can see from the size of my blender, I had to add the mango into two phases).

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