Pucker up to some Cranberry-Apple Chutney!

Its the season for cranberries. Its one of the main things that I look forward to as thanksgiving approaches and it is also something I buy only during thanksgiving and never before. In any form. No cranberry juice all around the year for me. This is the only time of the year that it seems right. Though, I experimented with cranberries (dried ones in cranberry muffin, juice in a cranberry martini etc), I never went Indian with them. Until this year for thanksgiving, I made some cranberry chutney and I could’nt resist putting in some of this and some of that and a whole lot of jaggery to make it family friendly. I like the tartness but my husband is not so much a fan. I mean, it is a chutney , you know!. The chutney is really good , especially with some hot parathas.

Cran Apple Chutney

Heat , in a medium size sauce pot

1 tsp of ghee

Add,

1/4 tsp Black mustard seeds

When that sputters add,

2 Cloves
5 Green chillies (slit length-wise or chopped finely)
4-5 Kadipatta (Curry Leaves)
a pinch hing (Asafoetida)
2 Apples , chopped into cubes size of cranberries
1 12 oz bag of Fresh cranberries
Salt to Taste

Mix everything together and cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. The cranberries pop, the apples melt and results in a wonderful dark pink concoction. If you taste it now, you will get, other than a burnt tongue, a really really tart taste. Its time to sweeten things up.

Add

1 cups of Jaggery
1/4 cup Orange juice

Cook, covered on medium heat till the jaggery melts and remove from flame. Add

1 tsp Red Chilli powder

to finish off a wonderful-tart-yet-sweet-and-with-a-hint-of-heat chutney. This was a part of my neither-here-nor-there-Thanksgiving dinner and we have enough leftovers to have with parathas. My son loves them in his PB & J Sandwich. I get the feeling that his palate is becoming neither-here-nor-there, too. But, of course, I would prefer it to be called “Well-Rounded” Palate!

This is my contribution to Jihva-Jaggery hosted by Kay of Towards a Better Tomorrow and also
to Festive Fair hosted by Anna of Morsel’s and Musings

Sunday Brunch..Chole Batura

Of all the american things that I have adopted in my day-to-day life, the one thing that I have accepted with open arms is the “Sunday Brunch” Tradition. What an excellent excuse for sleeping late into mid-morning. Wake up, make lunch that is neither here nor there and call it “Brunch”. One of the things that has become quite common,at my home, for brunch is Chole Batura, the quintessential Punjabi Dish. Chole would be curried Garbonzos while Baturas are deep fried breads made with regular flour and yogurt.

My friend, who is a punj (Of course!), once told me that traditionally,chole-batura is an breakfast item served along with sweet lassi. Can you imagine that? “I would probably skip lunch and Dinner with that kind of breakfast!!!!…”, I told her. Of course, this was me in my college days, when chatting up friends over the phone and buying new clothes seemed to fill me up pretty good. Where as, today, I eat this same combination for brunch and end up feeling hungry at 4 pm. I blame it all squarely on the huge hormone fluctuations during pregnancies.Forget the fact that I delivered over 6 months ago and my obstretician told me 2 days ago that all is normal in Vee-land. Well, Doc, you wouldn’t say that if you saw the amount of food I can still gobble up. And what about those pair of jeans that look at me forlornly, whenever I open my closet?

Anyway, all that frustration didn’t stop me from enjoying Chole-Bature with Mango Lassi on my patio today. Good Combination. Highly recommended.

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To Make Baturas

Make a dough using

2 cups regular flour
1/4 cup Yogurt
1 small potato, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp ghee/oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt to taste

Add warm water or flour, as required. Knead into a soft pliable dough. Keep aside for about an hour.

When ready to make, roll out golf ball sized dough balls into about 2 mm thick rounds and deep fry as described in the recipe for Mangalore Bun.

To make Chole,

Pressure cook or boil until tender using about 3 cups water

1 cup Chickpeas/Garbanzos soaked overnight

with

1 Black Cardamon/Badi Elaichi
1 Bay Leaf.

Meanwhile, heat up

3 tbsp Corn Oil/Vegetable Oil/Peanut Oil

in wide pan.

Add

2 medium Onions, sliced thinly

Cook on high heat stirring frequently till the onion browns. Add

1 medium Tomato,chopped finely

Continue cooking on high heat stirring frequently till the tomatoes break down and the mixture starts leaving oil. Transfer to a food processor and blend into a paste. Transfer back to the Pan.You can make the paste first and then brown it. But I prefer to do it this way. Don’t ask me why. I am weird that way. Ok, I will tell you. Its just that I think this process browns the onion faster.

Add

1 tsp Red chilli Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

Stir and cook for a minute. Add

cooked Chickpeas/Garbanzos along with the water.
1/4 tsp Anardana Powder
1/4 tsp Amchur Powder
Salt to taste

Add more water, if necessary or decant some from the beans before adding, if it is more. Bring to a boil. Smash some of the beans by pressing them against the sides of the pan with the ladle. This helps thicken the sauce. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium to low heat to allow all the flavors to meld together. Remove from flame. Finish by adding,

1 tsp roasted Jeera/Cumin powder.

To Make tamarind Chutney
Soak

1/4 cup Tamarind
1/2 cup Dates

in

1/2 cup water

for about an 2-3 hours.

Blend into a smooth paste adding

1/4 tsp roasted cumin/jeera powder(optional)
a pinch of salt

To serve

Serve 2 ladlefuls of chole topped with 1 tbsp of Tamarind Chutney and 1 tsp finely chopped onion in a bowl per person with 2 baturas and a glass of chilled Mango Lassi.