Is there an equivalent in Indian food?
I started celebrating Thanksgiving few years after I moved to America but I have never really cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I know, I know! So, this year I decided to create recipes and snacks inspired by Thanksgiving.
Over the weekend, I experimented with cranberries to come up with an Indian version of the cranberry sauce aka chutney. My efforts resulted in a pretty good recipe for making cranberry chutney. The Indian spices brought out the flavours of the berries but since I used only two spices, it didn’t overwhelm the flavour of cranberries.
Now to answer the question: The closest thing to cranberry fruit in India are the ਲਾਲ ਬੇਰ (red berries). These are mostly eaten raw but have an inedible pit in the middle like a plum.
I hope you will give the chutney a try.
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 tbsp sugar depends on how tart the cranberries are; you want keep a bit of the tartness but not too much
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds ਮੇਥੀ
- 1 tsp cumin seeds ਜ਼ੀਰਾ
- 1 dried red chilli ਲਾਲ ਮਿਰਚ
- 2 tsp oil I used rapeseed oil but you can use any vegetable oil except coconut
- Salt to taste but put in enough to bring out the flavours and balance the acidity of berries
Add the the berries and water in a thick-bottom pan and bring it to boil.
Turn the heat to low and let the berries simmer and stir so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
After about 5-6 minutes add the sugar. Continue to stir and simmer until the berries start to pop, in about 5-10 minutes.
If you notice that the mixture is sticking to the bottom, add more water in small quantities. You want a sticky sauce, not too dry or runny.
In a separate pan, roast the cumin seeds until they release the flavour but don’t brown them. Roughly ground the cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar. You can do this step beforehand but better to do just before you start making the chutney.
In a shallow pan, add the oil and heat it. Once the oil is hot, add the dried red chilli and few seconds later add the fenugreek seeds and the cumin seeds.
As soon as the seeds start to sputter (do not burn them), add them to the chutney along with the salt.
Cook the chutney for another 1-2 minutes. Let it cool down before storing it.
Serve it topped on toast, grilled meats and veggies or with Indian food.