The weather outside is frightful! Gosh, once the mercury dips, I am ready to turn into a pumpkin, well in many senses of the word. Given how much of snacking I have been indulging in, I think I am perfecting the pumpkin look! Even as I write this, I am sitting under a couple of cozy comforters.
Snacks and fritters in the Indian kitchen have to have their share of dips and relishes, that which we collectively call chutney. Every year, I have to sneak in a couple of Bengali style chutneys. The Bengali chutney is really what inspired the British to adapt
ruin to the modern day mango chutneys. As everyone knows, my quest is to find local solutions to childhood flavors, and the cranberry is definitely a winner in the chutney department. I have a variation of this recipe in my cookbook, and this one was different enough for me to document for posterity. I am eagerly waiting to convert the cranberries into savory pickles, that is the next frontier.
I had meant to do this earlier in the week, but was interrupted with the various activities that are collectively called life. This autumn has been an exceptionally cold and beautiful one.
I was lucky to wander and capture a few beautiful moments while waiting for Deepta at her scouts meeting. Life with its pace does not afford me a lot of time for repose, however, I am grateful that I am able to cull through the simple moments of life to find color and beauty. It is indeed always about finding beauty in life’s simple moments.
We are often caught up in the chase, without realizing how lucky we are. It is indeed a privilege and gift to enjoy so much beauty in the daily meanderings of life. This recipe, works well on a typical Bengali table, works as a condiment, will work on your Thanksgiving table and in moderation will work well in a seasonal grilled cheese sandwich.
A simple colorful and lightly spiced cranberry and apricot chutney.
- 11/2 tablespoons of oil (preferably mustard)
- 11/2 tablespoon very finely diced or grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1 cup of cranberries
- 4 bay leaves
- 11/2 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 11/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup of slivered apricots
- Heat the oil and add in the ginger and saute lightly for a minutes.
- Add in the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add in the nigella seeds.
- Add in the cranberries and the bay leaves and the water and sugar and the red pepper flakes.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the cranberries pop and soften, you will actually hear the cranberries pop! My kids have a lot of fun with this.
- Stir in the apricots and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Cool and serve. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.