Mango Lassis

In Hawaii, where I grew up, the term pake means both cheap/miserly and Chinese. Urbandictionary.com gives two examples:

He no like buy, because it is not on sale, he so pake, yah? (Hawaiian pidgin English)

“Eh, look at those pakes over dere playing majiang.”

While I don’t generally prefer to use ethnic slurs to define myself, it is true that I am pake in both senses of the word, which is why I currently only buy clothes at the Talbots Outlet when everything is 75% off the lowest price. I have a whole wardrobe of items that formerly cost $120 but cost me 8 bucks.

Being pake means I don’t like paying good money for something that I can make for cheap at home, much to the chagrin of my kids who want what they want when they want it rather than going home and waiting for Mom to buy all the ingredients and waiting again for her to get around to it. A major case in point is mango lassis. Mango lassis, the Indian mango and yogurt drink, are delicious and quite reasonably priced if you make them yourself. A Pakistani student taught me the recipe years ago and I make them all the time because they’re relatively healthy and the kids love ‘em.

But they’re usually at least $3.50 at Indian restaurants, and then they fill the glass mostly with ice so you’re paying a lot of money for about 2 oz of mango lassi. If I’m given the choice, when we eat Indian, I tell the kids we’re drinking water. But Scott is a softie whose family of origin values liquids while my family values solids, so he often capitulates and gives them the mango lassis, which they sip and then say aren’t as good as the ones we make at home, so leave untouched until all the ice melts—revealing the fact that only 2 oz of mango lassi had been poured into the glass as the top 3/4 is all murky water. That means I’ve spent ten bucks on ice mixed with a little yogurt that doesn’t even enter their systems.

Several weeks ago, I was charged with making mango lassis for the Harvard graduate student kick-off. After 14 quarts of yogurt, 18 cans of mango puree, a borrowed blender because my brand-new one broke after I attempted to puree a delicious bean dip, 2 bloody cuts from jagged can lids, 20 lbs of ice, and a delightful hour with my middle daughter who came to help, we produced at least 130 servings of mango lassis and used up every plastic cup I had bought at BJs Wholesale Club.

But like the Indian restaurants, my strategy to quench the thirst of 130 Harvard graduate students was to fill each cup to the brim with ice so the mango lassis would stretch.

What did I say? Pake.

Mango Lassi:

1/3 vanilla yogurt

1/3 mango puree (bought at Indian stores)

1/3 water

Blend in a blender and serve over ice (a lot or a little depending on whether you too are pake)

P.S. I like it more mangoey, so add more puree. If you use plain yogurt, you probably want to add some sugar. If you like it thicker, use less water.

About Kathy Tuan-MacLean
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04686903810999349875 Suzanne S

    I'm definitely 'pake', too! I buy the best designer clothes at thrift stores. The lassis sounds great–I will have to try it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17466195801394938412 Tara

    Hmmmm. I'm not pake at all. And my family of origin preferred liquids AND solids. How come I love you so much? Must be the love of a good story.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15562954075609274607 Melinda

    All this talk of liquids and solids makes me think of changing diapers. And I don't even have any kids in diapers anymore!

    Quite seriously though, I have not been able to find mango puree anywhere in Philly. I'm going to go look online now!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09273899352110386257 Rocklyn Clarke

    You're expanding my vocabulary. How is "pake" pronounced? Is it pah-kay, pah-key, does it rhyme with "rake", or am I completely off base?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09224370583495960382 Ling-Ling

    Since when do you make mango lassis all the time???? that's like saying you make beef wellington all the time. or bubble tea.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04965309388308485389 Gregm

    making this one today!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04965309388308485389 Gregm

    say hi to my godson!!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X