Doogh-Yoghurt Drink (Lassi) in the Afghan/Persian Manner

The chaunsa, sindhri, anwar ratol: Pakistan’s mangoes. Oh, and the dohsehri. That’s the one you soften with your fingers, till it feels like soft pulp and then you pierce a tiny hole at the top. You suck out all the juice. And that’s how you eat that mango. But my favourite, which appears in late July, is the langra- with a thick parrot-green skin. And when you cut into it, the juice starts to ooze out-like perfect yolk from a softly poached egg-and forms a puddle in your plate. The flesh is fibrous and honeycomb-sweet.

It’s the kind of mango you want to eat privately, tilted forward into your kitchen sink, your back towards everyone else, the juices running down your hands, the side of your arms, sucking each piece of flesh off of the green skin and the seed. The seed, that’s the best bit. And I never share it with anyone. Somehow, the best time of day to eat a mango, is after lunch. There is something decadent and naughty about it; right after you’re done, you’re going to dive into bed for a siesta. Not a calorie burned off.

Chaunsa Mango

But just before having that siesta, jugs of doogh are brought to table. To cool us down before we retreat to our bedrooms while the temperatures outside peak at 42C. They say milk induces sleep. After a meal of puffed chapatis with a spicy chicken karahi, rounded off with mango gluttony, I dare say that we need anything to induce sleep.

Madhani for twirling

The doogh is made with creamy yoghurt and topped off with bubbly water, so that with each sip it tingles on the tongue, while the ice cubes clink and clank against the frosted glass. The mint is fresh and welcoming against the creaminess of the doogh. With both hands, my Aunty Shahla twirls the madhani in the jug, making sure that the milk doesn’t settle at the bottom, and then continues to pour the doogh into glasses for us.

Beghi, een bisyaar khub ast,” Aunty Shahla says, in Dari, take it, it’s wonderful.

Wonderful indeed. Salty, verdant, cool deliciousness.

Serves 4
*1 cup whole milk yoghurt
*8-10 large ice cubes
*club soda
*salt to taste
*1-2 tsp dried mint

*Whip yoghurt till it is creamy and transfer to a 1 litre jug.
*Add ice cubes.
*Slowly add club soda and stir.
*Add salt to taste and dried mint.

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Comments

  1. I have only tried the flat doog, it’s probably amazing with fizzy water. Nice mango memories!

  2. Love the mango slurping moment over the sink and totally relate to the not-sharing the seed bit! Love that twirling baton too, so pretty, I want one too! Can picture the scene and it is a lovely one, especially followed by a nice siesta.

  3. doogh bisyaar khub ast! love doogh!

  4. After reading this post, I’m convinced you have a hidden webcam in my kitchen: You describe exactly my method for guiltily gobbling mangoes and other soft summer fruit.

    Love this post and recipe–can’t wait to try it.

  5. The langda aam is my fave mango variety of all time, and I used some of it in your kulfi recipe, Shayma. Fabulous!!
    Never heard of lassi with soda, and will soon have a very intrigued husb!

  6. I love the way you describe how one should eat a mango :)
    Love the madhani as well. I wish I could find one!
    Magda

  7. Best description of the utter messy indulgence of eating a ripe mango EVER. Love the picture too, beautiful stuff.

  8. Shayma, I love the way you describe the yummy mango eating experience – I wish we would get the Langra Mangoes in US..I have never seen them.

    yogurt drink looks great with club soda and mint!

  9. When I was a child my father had a Persian friend who seemed to us impossibly exotic and glamorous. He gave us our first mango, but told us they should only ever be eaten in the bath. Gorgeous post, darling girl. Xxxx

  10. The Madhani is like the Mexican Molonillo – gorgeous colours. And Mangoes….this is the first time in my life in the West that I read/hear of someone who ‘licks’ mangoes like me. Somewhat savagely…i might add but there”s no pretty way to really eat a mango, and enjoy it, is there?

  11. Shayma, the madhani looks gorgeous. Where did you get that one from?

  12. Bisyor thashakur. The combination of memories of my childhood in India stealing mangoes from the matka filled with water they’d get kept in to cool them off and the heat of my first summer in Mazar-E-Sharif (42, think 48 C and no air-conditioning) with the doogh.

    It sure is food porn. :)

  13. Sabrina Armani says:

    What in the world!! I LOVE how you describe food and eating! I just felt like I ate a mango!

    You are gifted!

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  2. [...] is a post about doogh, a Persian/Afghan lassi, but Shayma's description of summer mangoes is pure food porn. [The Spice [...]

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