Tis the Season

Yukon cranberries

All over Canada this week-end, people will be eating cranberry sauce with their Thanksgiving fowl. I was never a great fan of the stuff until several years ago, when Joe discovered a recipe for cranberry chutney in one of our East Indian cookbooks. I’m posting it here because, in my very humble opinion, it leaves all other cranberry sauces in the dust. If you decide to make it, let me know what you think.

Cranberry Chutney (Topokul Chatni)
From ‘The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking’ by Yamuna Devi

3-inch piece of cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom pods, crushed open
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1-2 hot green chilies, seeded
3-inch piece of orange zest
1 1/2 cup white grape juice (I’m sure other fruit juices would work too)
3/4 cup raw sugar or maple syrup (I used part birch syrup and part maple syrup)
1/2 cup pitted dates, sliced
1 pound cranberries (I use wild but I’m sure domesticated berries work equally well)

Tie the cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves, green chilies and orange zest in a small piece of cheesecloth.

Combine the juice, sweetener, dates and spice bag in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over moderate heat, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for half an hour.

Remove the spice bag, pressing it to extract the flavour. Stir in the cranberries and cook for 7 – 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the berries pop.

Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to a week. 

Note: makes about three cups.

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