Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry juice has long been used in treating urinary tract infections.  It is loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients which researchers believe  also protect against cancer. Fresh cranberries have the most health benefits followed closely by dried cranberries.

Try out a simple Sweet and Spicy(and tart) Indian Style Cranberry Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • Cranberries: 200gms
  • Jaggery: 1/2 cup
  • Fennel seeds( Saunf): 1 tsp
  • Zeera/ cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 tsp grated
  • Red chili powder: 1/2-2 tsp (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil/ Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds. When they crackle add the grated ginger to it.
  • Then add the cranberries, salt, fennel seeds , garam masala and the chili powder. Add some water and let it cook on medium heat till the cranberries are cooked and soft.
  • Taste for salt and add the jaggery to it. When completely cooked,  taste it to make sure there is a balance in the spice, salt and sweetness (if not add accordingly).
  • Set aside to cool for sometime. Put the mixture in the blender and blend it to fine paste.

Tomatillo Chutney (Similar to green tomato chutney)

Tomatillos are a green Mexican fruit with a lantern-type shell surrounding it. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine as ‘Salsa Verde’. They are a good source of vitamin C, B-carotenes niacin, vitamin K and manganese, iron, phosphorous as well as copper.

I’ve used tomatillo instead of red/green tomatoes in a chutney recipe that I learnt from my neighbour back in Bangalore.The use of roasted bengal gram and of course the tempering at the end gives this dish the Indian touch. The ‘ghee’ is supposed to reduce the heat of the green chillies,so do let me know if it does.

Tomatillo Chutney

Ingredients for Tomatillo chutney:

  • Tomatillos: 4 nos.(chopped)
  • Green chillies/Serrano:1 or 2(depending on how much fire you can take)
  • Garlic:4 cloves chopped(+ 2 to be added raw-optional)
  • Ginger:1/2″ piece
  • Oil: 2 teaspoon
  • Roasted bengal gram:2 teaspoons
  • Roasted peanuts: 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida/Hing: a pinch(optional)
  • Jaggery: 1 teaspoon(optional)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick pan,add chopped ginger and garlic.
  2. When the garlic turns slightly brown,add the pinch of asafoetida(optional),chopped green chillies and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatillos,salt,jaggery (optional) and stir.Cook till the tomatillos are soft.
  4. Once it has cooled,add the mixture, the raw garlic(optional),roasted bengal gram and peanuts into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste. Pour the chutney into a bowl/airtight box.
  5. Heat the remaining oil,add the mustard,cumin,sesame seeds.
  6. Once the mustard starts to splutter, pour the tempering over the chutney and mix well.
  7. Serve with dosas or idlis or as a spread on your sandwich(or mix with yogurt and use as a spicy dip).

 


Green Apple and Mint Chutney

I had picked up 3 Granny Smith apples in the hope of turning it into a chutney that a friend had made.Well,the recipe involved some cooking and since I was feeling too lazy for that, thought I’d make it like raw mango chutney.So,I peeked into the fridge and got out all the stuff that goes into a regular chutney-mint leaves,cilantro,ginger,lemon,green chilies and put them all in the blender with the cored and peeled apples. The resulting Green Apple Chutney which came out of the blender reminded me of the “chaat” taste and so I blended some sugar and a little roasted cumin seeds,and the result was great. The Green Apple Chutney can be eaten with meals,mixed with yogurt and used as a dip, or used as a spread in a sandwich.Here’s what I blended together for the Green Apple Chutney:
Ingredients for Green Apple and Mint Chutney:

  • Granny Smith apples/tart cooking apples-2 nos.(peeled,cored and chopped)
  • Mint leaves-10 numbers
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro-2 tablespoons
  • Green chilly/Serrano-1 no.
  • Ginger-1/2″piece
  • Lemon juice-2 tablespoons
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds-1 tsp(roasted)
  • Jaggery/Stevia-2 tsp/to taste (optional)
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste.
  2. Adjust salt and sugar according to your taste.
  3. Serve the Green Apple Chutney with sandwiches, as a dip or as a salad dressing.

Palak Chutney(Spicy spinach chutney)

If ‘Green smoothies’ (with raw palak)or ‘Spinach juice’ isn’t your cup of tea, then you can try out this spicy palak chutney which is a great way of adding green leafy vegetables to your diet.

Spinach is loaded with nutrients like protein, fibre, vitamins ( A, C, E, K , as well as vitamins B2, B6 , folate) and minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium and potassium.

The original recipe uses tendli/tondli(ivy gourd) leaves,but since that isn’t available everywhere, had to substitute with palak. The resulting Palak Chutney was quite close to the ‘tondekai/tondli chutney’ that I remember. Here are the ingredients for the Palak Chutney:

Ingredients for Palak Chutney:

  • Palak(baby)/Baby spinach-2 cups chopped
  • Garlic-5 cloves(crushed)
  • Ginger-1″ piece
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves-1 cup
  • Green chillies-6-7nos(or according to taste)
  • Roasted channa dal-2 tbsp
  • Roasted groundnut-2tbsp
  • Hung yogurt/curd-3tbsp
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Oil-1tsp

    Method:
    1)Heat the oil in a pan,add the garlic and green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes.
    2)Add the chopped baby spinach and saute till they are cooked.Let it cool.
    4)In a mixer grinder-add the channa dal,groundnuts,cilantro,ginger,salt and the cooked palak.
    5)Make a fine paste.
    6)Pour the palak chutney into a bowl. Add the lime juice, yogurt and mix well. Test for salt.

    Palak chutney tastes great even without the addition of the yogurt/curd at the end(add a little tamarind). I just love the creaminess that the yogurt adds to the palak chutney.
    Serve the palak chutney with idlis/dosas, as a spread for sandwiches,a dip or as a side with your meal.


Spicy Peanut-Garlic Chutney Powder

This is one of my husband’s favourite chutney’s and he just cannot stop sprinkling it over everything and anything! I had never tasted it (forget even making it) before I got married and had only heard about it from him(my MIL apparently would always have a batch of it in the house).
My family used more of coconut(milk/paste,etc) for our cooking as we are originally from a small coastal town in South India (Mangalore to be specific, for those who are familiar with India and Indian towns), whereas my hubby’s family is more familiar to using peanuts in their cooking.
He sort of knew what ingredients his mom used for making it and asked me to try it. I tried making it a couple of times and every time he found something wrong with it-it was either not “garlicky enough”(even when I had added 10 garlic cloves!!) or “too pasty”. Finally, fed-up with these comments,I decided to call up my MIL(why didn’t I ever think of it before???? Silly me!!) and ask her how she makes it-that’s when she told me my mistakes:

  • use about 3-4 raw garlic cloves (I used to saute them in a little oil) to get the “garlicky” taste,
  • and use a handful of roasted bengal gram dal(roasted and puffed split chickpeas) which not only adds to the taste but also absorbs the oil from the peanuts (and the moisture from the raw garlic) and hence the result is a “powder”chutney and not a “pasty” chutney!

Over the years,I’ve not only perfected the art of making this chutney powder,but also added my own “healthy” ingredient-flaxseeds!
Ingredients for Peanut Chutney Powder:

  • Roasted peanuts: 1 cup(skinned)
  • Roasted gram dal: 1/2 cup
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves
  • Flax seed : 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Turmeric: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon(add more if you want it spicier)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Powder all the ingredients together to get a coarse chutney.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge(should keep for about 2 weeks or maybe even more).

You can use it as a chutney or sprinkle a little on noodles/fried rice/salads or mix it with a little yogurt and use as a dip or as a filling inside sandwiches.