Vegan Mango Lassi. A Creamy Warm Weather Treat!

by Gena on April 9, 2013

vegan mango lassi

True to form, D.C. has transitioned directly from winter to summer within a week’s time. It is 85 degrees here and sunny, and a short lunchtime walk left me sweating in my long sleeved shirt and jeans. In honor of the abrupt change of seasons, I’m featuring a sweet and cool drink: a vegan mango lassi made with coconut milk.

I first mentioned this recipe in my Food52 column about coconut milk as a versatile and wonderful ingredient. A few of my readers asked me to share the recipe itself here on the site. I’m happy to do so—and it’s such an easy recipe! I hope you’ll enjoy it, and savor it as a midday refresher or after dinner treat as temperatures climb.

PicMonkey Collage 5

Vegan Mango Lassi. A Creamy Warm Weather Treat! (vegan, gluten free, soy free)


  • 2 heaping cups of frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup coconut water, OR use 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scooped out (I use a spoon to do this)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala spice (readily available at grocery stores and online)
  • 1 pitted date


  1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Add extra coconut milk as needed to obtain the desired consistency. This drink would be delicious with a sprig of fresh mint!

Those dark flecks you see in the photograph are vanilla beans from the fresh vanilla. This is a costly ingredient, for sure, but ever since I ordered a bunch, I’ve found that it makes a tremendous difference in my recipes. You can order a quarter of a pound for about $15 on Amazon; a luxury, to be sure, but a small amount goes a very long way (and vanilla extract isn’t cheap, either). If you don’t use the vanilla bean, rest assured that vanilla extract will still make a very tasty beverage.

PicMonkey Collage 2

Mango isn’t my favorite fruit, but with the addition of cardamom (a prominent flavor in the garam masala spice blend) and vanilla, it’s hard not to go crazy for this drink. Enjoy it—stay cool—and I’ll be back soon.


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly April 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I love this recipe and its simplicity! I’m not the biggest fan of mango, either, but coconut milk makes anything infinitely tastier! This will be a staple this summer, for sure!


Christa @ Edible Balance April 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Ohhh, I don’t care if there’s still snow outside, I’m still going smoothie crazy these days! I love the addition of garam masala, that’s sure to spice it up enough to give a little warmth ;)


ariel April 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I make a lassi like this with unsweetened soy yogurt, mango, meyer lemon, kale, and cardamom. The kale is…erm…not traditional…but, like all vegans everywhere I try to get my kale at every meal :) Do you use canned coconut milk or blend a raw one using whole coconut? I always feel like canned coconut milk is just a junk food, but you’re a nutritionist, so I’d love your take!


Gena April 10, 2013 at 6:59 am

Not a junk food at all. I mean, there is some processing involved, but no more than soy yogurt, or almond milk, or the like. There is some debate over whether coconut milk is overly high in saturated fat for safe consumption, but so far, no conclusive evidence that coconut raises the risk of heart disease in the same way that saturated fats from animal foods can. I use it in moderation, but don’t believe it’s necessary to avoid it wholesale (especially considering that vegan diets are probably, on average, lower in saturated fats than non-vegan diets). Enjoy :)


Les April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm

About three years ago, I had a blood test to check for deficiencies. I was vegetarian at the time, and since then I have gone vegan and then 90% raw. Anyway, the test showed my cholesterol levels to be so low that the doc suggested I eat several spoonfuls of coconut oil every day. So if my cholesterol was 90 then, what the heck is it now?? So my point is that my diet is richer in good fats now than ever, and I don’t suppose it would show in my cholesterol levels.


Gena April 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Les, yes, you bring up a good point: it’s possible for cholesterol to be dangerously low (which is problematic on many fronts). In these cases, coconut oil can be a really beneficial — maybe we could say “medicinal” — food. All bodies are different.


Alanna April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

As one of your readers who requested this recipe, Gena, thanks for sharing! One quetion to clarify: in your ingredients section you list garam masala, but in your conclusion to this post you mention cardamom. Which spice is used in the lassi?

I envy you your warm temperatures. On the east coast of Canada, where I live, we got a fresh snowfall this afternoon. Not cool! Or, actually, LITERALLY cool. ;)


Claire April 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Like she mentioned, garam masala is a blend of different spices including cardamom, along with cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and others. So you only have to put in garam masala and you get all of them in one. :)


Anonymous April 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

Yes — the spice blend was mentioned but the components of that blend was not. It is now. :)


Gena April 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

Sorry, Alanna! I do mean garam masala, but garam masala is a mix of spices that includes cardamom, and cardamom is the dominant flavor (to me). I revised to make that clear :)


Gena April 10, 2013 at 7:01 am

I used garam masala, Janet — sorry! I taste cardamom more than the other spices in garam masala, so that’s what I meant :)


janet @ the taste space April 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Looks delicious, Gena! Totally not summer here yet… snow is forecasted for Friday! I have never heard of garam masala in a lassi, though… perhaps you meant cardamom as in your conclusion? My curiosity is thoroughly piqued, though. :)


cheap glasses uk online April 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Thank you for the sharing the Ingredients and steps on how to make this. :)


the delicate place (@misathemeb) April 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm

i don’t really like any tropical fruits except for papaya but nate LOVES mango. his absolute fave fruit! cardamom is so lovely and floral–i like to heat up almond milk and sprinkle some cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom into it with the aero latte. puts me right to sleep!


Taylor April 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Ah this looks so refreshing, and I have all the ingredients! Going to make this tomorrow for sure. I love mangos. Thanks Gena.


Sheryl April 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Just made this, but used coconut milk yogurt instead of coconut milk, as I had some on hand. Turned out delicious! It was a perfect bedtime snack.


Gena April 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

I’m so glad you liked it!!!


Claire April 9, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Ooh, this looks amazing. Mangos, coconut milk, and Indian spices…what’s not to love? :)


Melany April 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

When I look at this treat, it reminds me the Mango and coconut milk cocktails in Thailand. They use mango and coconut milk a lot and the combination is so good! Ah, I miss Thailand :-)


Alex April 10, 2013 at 5:19 am

I don’t care if it’s not 85 degrees outside here….I’ll try anything with coconut it it. This looks awesome!


Annie April 10, 2013 at 7:20 am

Thanks for sharing! I have strong memories of drinking mango lassis – with my parents on my birthday or with my best friend from college when we were having a bad day and needed cheering up. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one and I can’t wait to try this!


McKel | Nutrition Stripped April 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

I love mango lassis, they remind me of a great little Indian restaurant I used to frequent in my grad school days in Columbus, OH. Great recipe :)


Anonymous April 10, 2013 at 11:36 am

This was really tasty, thank you


Hannah April 10, 2013 at 11:44 am

It’s like you’re taunting me.

It’s set to snow again here tomorrow and I just can’t. I can’t anymore, Gena.


Gena April 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Let’s trade. I’m sweating through my t-shirt.


chloe April 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

This sounds amazing! Will make this afternoon and will try making popsicles out of it for my daughter.


Letitia April 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Looks soooo good! Thank you for sharing!


Elisabeth April 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I make a version of this all the time, so I know it’s good! I simply use frozen mango and pineapple and a creamy, ripe banana and blend it all up in a food processor. Thanks for sharing this Indian-spiced variation!


dixya@food, pleasure, and health April 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

yummm never thought about adding garam masala but will surely try this one out soon


CATHERINE April 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I wish spring was here… the forecasts are 20 cm of snow tomorrow! But anyways I’m in a coconut day: bought 3, used the water for this recipe, and the with the flesh I made some coconut butter. You should try this Gena! HOmemade cocnut butter taste amazing and is very useful. It’s fun and easy to do, but quite time exhaustive.
I also had homemade coconur yogourt, which I also put into the lassi instead of coconut milk.
I am just waiting for the sun now ;)


Sarah April 12, 2013 at 6:51 am

We made this yesterday with our kids and it was absolutely delicious! We basically cleared out all the ripe mangoes from the store, and fresh mango worked great too. (I work at a school for children with special needs in SE) Thanks for the recipe!

(PS your blog is one of my favorites! It has been big factor in my new found love of cooking :)


Katrin - April 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Looks delicious!! I wish the good wheater would make a move to Amsterdam as well ;) Enjoy it!!!


Ana Lydia April 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Oh my, that looks absolutely yummy! Thank you for the fabulous post. I often make yogurt lassi which is very nutritious and tasty but I’ve never had mango lassi. I’ll make it tomorrow to add taste to our boring weekend,


Stanley Shores April 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

Mango Lassi!
Oh do I miss this delicacy!
I have drunk this on many an occasion when I visited India, absolutely delicious.


David April 19, 2013 at 3:42 am

Still far too cold and wet here in the UK but that will give me time to perfect your recipe for the summer months. Mango is a favorite of mine so lots of taster sessions lie ahead.


Eileen Hoglund April 19, 2013 at 11:50 am

WOw! What refreshing, yummy-looking smoothie! And it’s vegan too! Going to try and get my hands on some mangoes first though.


Lindsey @ Pas de Deux April 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I have been a fan of mango + cardamom in smoothies for a while now, so I knew this recipe would be great. I made a version of it tonight (I used some coconut milk and some cashew milk), but the garam masala was KEY–I love the spicy complexity it gave the drink. Thanks for the tasty suggestion!


Tanya @ Playful and Hungry April 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

Lassi is the indian way of milkshake… yummy!


Helen May 7, 2013 at 1:11 am

I just made this and it is AMAZING! Here in Seattle we just had a VERY warm day for us so this was the perfect way to cool down! I know I will be making this again really soon! Thank you for the recipe!


Gena May 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

I am so glad you liked it!


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