Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Chutneys are pretty forgiving. You mix, taste, add some more, and repeat till you get it just right. Chutneys are also very ….um…lickable - for the want of another word. They just don’t taste right until you lick it right off your finger, roll it around your tongue for a bit and end your adventure with that loud, satisfying smack of “tch” that seemingly, unknowingly came out of your own mouth…..

Growing up, chutney was always an integral part of a meal served at home. The simplest thali would have a dal, a sabzi, a chutney, pickle and papad accompanying the bread. Mostly, our everyday condiment was the fiery green coriander chutney - with minor, season-appropriate variations. I couldn’t tolerate the amount of heat my parents were accustomed to , so sometimes my mom would sweeten it up with a bit of jaggery - and I’d eat that with everything. This everyday chutney is a quick fix, uncooked relish- sort of like salsa. All you need to do is zap up the ingredients in the food processor. No cooking required. 

As a child, I was also fond of something called “aam ki launji”- an end of summer, slow cooked, sweet and sour , mango delight. With this cranberry chutney, I followed a similar route, and tried the spice and sweet with tart cranberries instead of mangoes. The result is hard to describe. Suffice it to say, that what you will get is definitely very “lickable”!

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Fresh Cranberries 1 cup
Raisins 3Tbsp

Panch Phoran 1tsp
Fennel seeds 1tsp
Oil 1tsp
Jaggery powder 3tspWater 1/2 cup
Vinegar 1/2tsp

Salt and black pepper (or red chill flakes)  to taste

  1. Wash the cranberries and raisins. Soak the raisins in a little water for 20 min.
  2. Splutter the Panch Phoran and fennel seeds in oil.
  3. Add in the cranberries, raisins, salt, pepper and water. Cook for 20 min. on low heat until cooked through completely.
  4. Now add the jaggery and vinegar. Mash the cranberries with the back of the spoon.
  5. Cook an additional 5 min.
My two cents: I got a small 4oz batch with this measure. I ate this chutney with everything I could lay my hands on - bread, roti, rice, paratha, straight from the jar….. It went best with curd-rice, if you ask me. Or with a stuffed paratha. But there’s no really right way of relishing it.

Keeps well in the fridge. Perfect for a adding a little Indian touch to your holiday table!