My next door neighbor is the dream neighbor. Our front doors face each other just 10 feet apart. She’s always cooking an authentic dish that is savory and mouth watering from her homeland of Pakistan. Then she comes over with a massive plate of this food and feeds me and my girls. She feeds my baby Eden lunch many days from the extra lunch she’s prepared for her baby, (named Emily Eden and born just three weeks before my Eden). She is generous to the max, willing to share and give of anything in her home. She’s the world’s greatest mother, very attentive and loving, and as a result also a wonderful babysitter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped off my kids with her, sometimes at the last minute with no warning, so I could get some task accomplished.
She is loving and kind. She is hilarious and genuine. Her name is Sumbel, and I miss her greatly while I’m here on the mainland visiting my family.
Sumbel is from Pakistan. She moved to Hawaii to attend University and that’s where she married and started her beautiful family. So today, to honor her and let her know I’m thinking of her, I’m making a fun recipe that comes from her homeland.
This weeks Travel Inspired recipe is a Mango Lassi. Mango lassi is a cold drink commonly found in India and Pakistan and is made from yogurt, water and mango pulp. Those three basic ingredients are the staple to which I had a little fun. Cardamom is a spice that originates from the middle-eastern region, so it seemed natural to let it join this drink. Luckily Mangoes and cardamom go well together, and rare is the day I’ll pass up an opportunity to use this spice.
Add a few more fruits, a splash of lemon juice, top it off with some chopped pistachios and we have ourselves a healthy, refreshing and nourishing drink. It’s filling too, so it can be used as a meal replacement or snack between meals if that’s your thing. ‘Cause it’s my thing. If I could drink all my meals I would. I don’t know if that’s great or weird. When Phil wants to say sorry, or celebrate, or send me a love message, it’s not flowers he comes home with… it’s a special drink! He knows the way I like it.
- 2 mangoes (or mango puree to equal 2 mangoes)
- 1 orange
- 2 apples, peeled and seeded (or to simplify use ⅓ cup apple juice)
- ½ banana
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom, aka a hefty pinch
- *optional to top with chopped pistachios
- **optional to add teaspoon of agave to sweeten
- Blend everything together in a powerful blender until it’s smooth.
- If your blender is not able to juice the fruits, it’s a good idea to replace the apples for apple juice, and the orange for orange juice to avoid a thick pulp that’s harder to drink.
- This is best served very cold! Relax in the sun and enjoy the taste of Pakistan.