Freezer + Time = Frozen?

The word for freezer in Spanish is congelador, which sounds appropriate only for savory foods.
I’ve been staring down a ripe mango for the last three days, and I think it’s finally starting to shy. It’s brethren, beaten into an ice cream so delicious that I was happy to eat it with rice, beat me: I had to ask the supremely capable woman-owner at Thai Fresh for the magic ingredient. She said that the ice cream was made of:
coconut milk
lime juice
and some trepidation: she said that it was hard to get the proportions right so that the ice cream would freeze smoothly without being too sweet.
I am such a huge fan of the fresh Thai lady that I didn’t want to ask for her exact proportions (knowing that I would probably publish them here while I crowed about making the best ice cream ever.)
Fast forward to present, and I’m hopelessly intimidated by the prospect of freezer failure to the point that I’m staring at a slowly rotting mango and it makes me feel like I’m winning.

Wait, wait just a minute. I don’t like cold headaches, and I DO like lassis of any variety. Especially mango. Time to throw some fruit and fat in the blender! I’m going to put some in the congealator (hopefully) and some in a glass.

Lamb for the Martyr

Before going to the grocery, I read over my recipes for chutneys and dipping sauces. I read that for vegetarian Indians, the yoghurt in raita is the main source of protein in the meal. This, of course, inspired some meat-counter panic and I ordered a roast fully twice as big as the butcher recommended. One thing that I love about my friends is that they don’t mind eating in the dark. It took two rounds of charcoal to cook last night’s leg of lamb to medium rare, which didn’t leave much daylight.
Here are my thoughts on the various chutneys and raitas whose prep carried me through a sad, mad afternoon:
Tomato Chutney – cilantro, chopped tomato, lemon juice, salt, some brown sugar, one bird’s eye pepper.
You know how every major religion has some flood/new beginnings story? I’m thinking that most major food traditions have a pico de gallo. Except the Brits, who just have HP sauce. This chutney was refreshing and covered up the complete lack of tomato flavor of Whole Foods’ sale tomatoes. FUWF.
Cucumber Raita* – English cukes (peeled and seeded), whole yoghurt, toasted whole cumin and mustard seeds, finely chopped sweet onion, grated fresh ginger and salt. This was topped with a packaged seasoning mix called Chaat Masala (Shan brand) which was recommended by my new best friend, the Indian grocer man on Spicewood Springs road. You can make Chaat Masala at home if you have dried ground mango, asafetida, and black salt. You could make your own dried ground mango if you don’t have any on hand. If you don’t have fresh mango to dry, you can grow your own – find seeds here.
Mint Raita – chopped fresh mint and yoghurt. That’s it! I used super thick greek yoghurt, and this was delicious.
Coriander Chutney* – one bunch of cilantro, 1/4 cup of dried coconut, some brown sugar, some lemon juice, onion, grated ginger, salt, and tiny hot green chillies all whizzed in the food processor for 60 seconds. This one is a treat – refreshing, interesting, and pretty. The coconut is still toothsome the next day so the texture is fun, too.
Tamarind Chutney* – tamarind, sugar, water, red chili powder, salt, garlic powder, ginger powder, carmel color, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, annatto. Mix together with a spoon, and decant from the jar labeled ‘Swad – best taste in town’. This was one of my favorites, and was so good out of a jar that I will not be attempting a home version.

* Denotes chutneys good enough to eat for breakfast with leftover naan.