Last Sunday, I was thrilled to be able to see my other family in New York...my son's in-laws...for a few hours. LOVE them...we never have enough time together.
Sister Usha and I immediately went scurrying to the Patel Brothers...the mother of all Asian Indian food stores. Like Economy Candy is to candy, the Patel Brothers is to everything you need for authentic Indian cuisine. It was chock full of all kinds of rice, spices, pickles, chutneys, dal and wonderful fresh veggies. The new mangoes had also just arrived...the ones that are so prized and crate after crate stood temptingly by the checkout stands. But Usha said the first shipment is not the one she prefers. The sweetest ones arrive in May. Take a look at Patel Brothers website and drool... http://www.patelbros.com/ And, exciting news, there is online ordering available for lots of their products, just not for the mangoes and other fresh produce.
From there we hopped across the street and met up with the rest of the family and ate at The House of Dosas, http://www.houseofdosas.com/
Dosas are soooo wonderful. I love them! Paper-thin and crepe-like, the "pancakes" can be made from rice, black lentil or chickpea flour and filled with all kinds of delicious potato, onion and other veggie fillings and rolled up like a wrap or cut into wedges. Oh, and did I mention, hot or not?
I ordered a "Gunpowder" Masala Dosa. Note to self...very appropriately named!!! It was hot alright! But not too hot to eat because I also ordered a Mango Lassi. The yogurt really cooled off the "gunpowder". Combining the cool creaminess of the lassi with my firing-squad dosa was a very tasty combo indeed. Yum...can't wait to go back!
Mango Lassis are also wonderful for breakfast...so luscious. If you can get your hands on the mangoes from India, grab a bunch and savor them. Here is a lovely story on just how special they are from NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104881449
And, here is a great recipe for Mango Lassis:
Mango Lassi (adapted from The Food of India)
1 pound 2 ounces fresh mango (or use frozen mango cubes which are not as sweet but are readily available)
1 cup chilled milk of choice (start with 3/4 cup)
1 cup thick yogurt of choice (start with 3/4 cup)
For fresh mangoes, blend pulp in a blender with just a dash of salt. Be sure to blend well or sieve to remove any fibers. The blended pulp should be syrup-y and thick and not contain any stringy bits. Chill. For frozen...just whiz in a blender and go ahead with next step.
Blend chilled pulp with milk and yogurt and add in remaining 1/4 cup of each to make a nice thick beverage. If you like it super cold, blend with a couple of ice cubes or add some crushed ice to the lassi. Taste. Add a dash honey if desired but it should be sweet enough as is and sweetness is not the goal here! I think I detected a hint of cardamom in mine at The House of Dosas, too. Serves 4.