Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cranberry Chutney

Welcome to new subscriber, My Loaves of Love. (Don’t you just love that name?) Great to have you here!

Chutney is a condiment originating in India but affectionately embraced in the United States and elsewhere. It has a jelly-like consistency, but firmer and chunkier, and can be sweet, hot and spicy, or a wonderful sweet-sour-savory flavor mix. (Today’s recipe, Cranberry Chutney, is an example of the sweet-sour-savory kind. In the photo, it's shown on fish with asparagus bundles and herbed roasted potatoes.)  The best part is that, for all their deep flavor, chutneys are very easy to make, a simple reduction of a few basic ingredients in a single saucepan.

Chutneys can be made from many combinations of things, many of which you might not ordinarily think of going together well. (The first chutney I ever tasted was made with mangos and artichokes.) Most are a combination of fruit, vegetables, sugar, herbs, spices, and an acid (usually vinegar). I chose cranberries (fresh ones, not the dried kind), but Cranberry Chutney should not be mistaken for cranberry sauce. Both have a sweet-sour quality, but the savory character of chutney really sets it apart as a great complement to pork, poultry, and fish. (It also works well as a spread on bread or cheese!)

This recipe makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Place a small, glass plate in the freezer for use later in checking the real thickness of the finished chutney. (This is for a great trick from the world of jellies and jams, and that regular KTC readers have seen before in recipes for fresh syrups.)

Set aside ¼ cup of raisins. Optional, but enthusiastically recommended, is adding just enough brandy to cover the raisins and letting them soak for at least 30 minutes.

Put 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon ground ginger (or 2 tablespoons fresh), 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
Add ½ cup of cider vinegar and stir to mix. Turn the heat on medium until the cider mixture just begins to boil.

Add 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, 1 medium onion (diced) and 4 cloves of garlic (minced). Stir to mix. When the mixture just starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer.
Simmer the mixture uncovered till thickened, about 25 minutes.

Check the texture by putting a small amount onto the frozen plate.

When done, if necessary add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

While we’re at it, here’s a bonus recipe you might like from an earlier post you may not have gotten to see: fresh-made three-cheese ravioli!

I hope you enjoy making and using Cranberry Chutney! Visit again next Saturday for another easy, kitchen-tested, low-fat recipe. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. this looks great.. my mom and i are doing thanksgiving dinner together, and this just might have to be on the menu!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Katie...I hope you enjoy making and having the chutney! (And don't forget the brandy for the raisins. ;-) )

  3. Hi, Ben. I'm finally getting over the loss of my kitty, so here I am to visit. You never disappoint with your recipes... you always have such great things to show! This would be great for Thanksgiving, rather than the regular cranberry sauce, but as you said, it would go great with pork. Mmmmm, a nice boneless pork loin and your cranberry chutney, I can see it now. :)

  4. P.S. Thanks again for your heartwarming comment and email about my cat. It really was so appreciated.

  5. Thank you, Gloria! I am glad you liked the chutney. I figure it must be good because one of my sons, home briefly from college, liked it so much he took a container back with him. :-)

    Your post about Little Buddy brought back a lot of memories and was very touching in a lot of ways. They really do get in our hearts and stay there. It has been years, but I still think about how, despite having both canned and dry food available, my first cat turned begging for people food into an art form. She knew she had daddy wrapped around her little paw. My thoughts are with you.