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.