Mango Lassi Muffins with Cardamom Crumble

by - 11:59 AM

Ever since listening to the PROOF podcast about the covert black market Aams trade over the coveted Pakistani mango - I couldn't help but be depressed every time I bite into a plain old "regular" mango. I craved the silky, sweet, tender, and juicy idea of a mango I'd never even tried, and I wanted nothing more than to bite into one. The concept of what a Pakistani mango could be has truly ruined everything else for me. That said, knowing that mangos of all varieties are a particular specialty of the Indian subcontinent, and not wanting to get too far into the Indian-Pakistan relationship (of which there's actually a "Mango Diplomacy" idea that sounds better in rhetoric than actuality) there must be something of similar variety or ilk that would satisfy the craving. 

Enter a can of Alphonso mango puree, introduced to me by a new friend who'd whipped up a fabulous dessert with it. Letting me try a spoonful I was instantly transported to a tropical wilderness, air slick with a sweet aromatic perfume that permeated every single sense, and I knew I wanted more. The Alphonso mango is the most expensive of the Indian mangos and when you taste it you know why. They're prized for their rich, creamy, and tender texture and are the base of many mango flavored desserts we know and love. 

I was hooked. Insert the IV and let the Alphonso mango puree flow... After a few incredible smoothies heightened with spoonfuls of the puree, I knew I wanted to try baking up something with it as well. A mango lassi inspired muffin perhaps? Why yes. That will do just nicely. And I added in a few toasted pistachios for crunch, a heavy dollop of yogurt for texture, and a spicy cardamom crumble for flavor. So enjoy! I know I did... probably a few too many. 

MANGO LASSI MUFFINS with Cardamom Crumble
by Nicole Iizuka, It's Borderline Genius

Time: 40 minutes || Yield: Bakers Dozen

For the Muffins:
1/2 cup raw pistachios
1/2 cup yogurt (I used Kite Hill's almond yogurt because I'm trying to be as dairy free as possible)
1 egg
1/3 cup avocado oil 
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom (or pumpkin pie spice as a substitute)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For the Crumble:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, melted

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF.

Spread the pistachios evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet. Place in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes to toast. They will become very fragrant when they are done. Remove from the oven and let cool before chopping into fine pieces. Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk together mango pulp, yogurt, egg, avocado oil, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. In another bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Then in batches add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients being careful to not over mix. A few lumps are alright. Finally fold in the pistachios. 

In a small bowl mix together the crumble ingredients. Add the butter and mix until crumble forms. You'll want a mix of dust and small balls. 

Line a muffin tin with liners and add 1/3 cup of batter to each liner. Top generously with a handful of crumble. Keep going until full. 

Bake for approximately 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

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