Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cranberry Chutney

a bowl of chutney in snow on our terrace

I have been using cranberries since a long time now and liked them right from the beginning. But, these were always packed dried cranberries. Cranberries don't grow in Germany, though I had once heard of a pilot project to grow them in Mecklenburg Vorpommern once. Don't know what happened of it. I was surprised when I saw fresh cranberries at REWE for the first time this time, where I went to after a long time and just couldn't resist buying them. Although, who knows, maybe I never noticed them before I got to see such lovely dishes being made with them on different blogs.

When I bought these fresh cranberries I wanted to make a nice tart with it like here at Doghill Kitchen. But somehow none of us was in a mood to eat anything sweet after having gorged on all those Christmas cakes and cookies for so long, so I dropped the idea. Instead, I decided to make a chutney, after having seen others make some too.
Cranberry and Fig Chutney (Relish)

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

250 g cranberries, cut into halves or quartered
2 inch piece ginger, grated
150 g dried figs, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
1/8 tsp red chilli powder (use more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp black salt, ground - optional
1/4 tsp salt
1 star anise, to be taken out once the chutney is ready
200 g jelly sugar 2:1* (use quantity to taste)
1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

  • Mix everything together and set aside for about half an hour or longer
  • cook it up stirring in between
  • reduce heat and keep cooking on medium low heat so that it keeps throwing bubbles
  • continue cooking for about 30 minutes, stirring in between
  • In the mean time prepare two 250 ml (boiled-) jars to be used for storing the chutney, if required
  • Fill the glasses with it and close lids tightly.
  • Once cooled down, store in the refrigerator

  1. Jelly sugar contains pectin in addition to regular table sugar. I used up my last and already opened packet of jelly sugar for this, but you can also replace it with regular sugar. One may require to cook it for longer, though.
  2. Depending on its use you can reduce the amount of sugar to half. For example, if using as a side to poultry, you could use regular table sugar and half the amount.

One of the many ways I am enjoying eating this flavourful chutney is like this:
Rye bread with Camembert cheese and cranberry chutney

I loved this chutney. It is the best of all the chutneys I have made in the last few months so far. I liked the combination of dried figs and fresh cranberries a lot. Even though I did have some small doubts about if it will turn out good, but the end results made this chutney to be a perfect one. I think the the proportions of the two fruits and all the spices are also very good in this chutney. Talking about spices, one of the distinct flavours in the chutney apart from that of ginger is that of fennel seeds which impart a lovely aroma and which makes it so delicious in my opinion.
That reminds me of my childhood days when I loved munching on fennel seeds. Fennel seeds are also one of the few spices I always liked as a child. Maybe it also had to do something with the fact that my mom only very rarely bought toffees, chocolates or lollipops and stuff like that for us. So, maybe we got enough chances to enjoy chewing on fennel seeds instead. :D We also discovered something, very fascinating for us then, that after chewing fennel seeds the water on drinking tasted so delicious. Delicious is the best word that I can think of for it. It tasted so very sweet. It was almost like doing an experiment and enjoying it.
The reason, I think, why the water tasted sweet afterwards was the essential oils present in fennel seeds. So, do you also have such similar memories with fennel seeds?

I just realised that Ivy is hosting an event for which this recipe is just the right thing. The event has also got a very interesting name this time and a very interesting theme too. Off it goes to the event started by Sunita of Sunita’s World and being hosted by Ivy of Kopiaste:
Think Spice...Think Twice : Mastic gum or Fennel seeds

Another event I got to know of and to which I would like to send this entry of my very original bread-not-exactly-sandwich is to Bay Leaf's Bread Mania event.

Other Cranberry chutneys:
Crannbery pickle at Anudivya's A little bit more
Cranberry Chutney at Andrea's Recipes
Cranberry Apple Chutney at Jai and Bee's Jugalbandi
Pear Cranberry Chutney at Meeta's WFLH


Trupti said...

what a lovely chutney

Swapna said...

Looks delicious & YUM! Great pictures.
You may find something interesting inside my blog.

Soma said...

Those are lovely things u have put in there. love figs and using fennel was a great idea PG. I should try this out!

Soma said...

BTW forgot to mention that the first picture is gorgeous!

Usha said...

Lovely chutney, loved the combination of flavors you have used in this chutney :-)

Priya said...

Wat a lovley combination of ingredients, its kinda hard for me to get fresh cranberries too, till now am using the dried one...chutney over camembert just makes me hungry...

A_and_N said...

Pics are outstanding, PG! This is bookmarked!

Maya said...

Wow, cranberries and figs must be tasting so good together. That pic is stunning. I had made a cranberry chutney too, with tangerines. Will try your version next time.

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely and defintely gourmet for me.Love all the pictures.I never tried cranberries in my chutney

Ivy said...

Your idea to make chutney was great. Like you, I've never seen any fresh cranberries in Athens before, although they grow wild in Northern Greece. Thanks for participating in the event.

~nm said...

Wow! It looks sooo tempting!! I just wanna dig in a spoon and spread it on my marie biscuit and gobble it up!

Sophie said...

Cranberries are divine, and so is this sweet and savory chutney you made! I bet this would taste delicious on so many things!

Kevin said...

I really like the sound of this spiced cranberry chutney!

mycookinghut said...

I have long thought what to do with cranberry! You just gave me a wonderful idea! Thank you!