Cranberry Chutney (Thanksgiving 2015)

Cranberry Chutney
We host a dinner every year for our friends who are in town for Thanksgiving. I usually do the classic meal centered on roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce etc. (plus lots of add-ons). This year I”ve decided to Indianize the meal. My friend Sandra says that immigrants incorporating the flavours of their source cuisines into Thanksgiving meals is a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition in its own right, but the truth of the matter is after 22 years in this country I’m a little bored of eating (and in the last decade and more, making) more or less the same meal. Sure, I’ve brined and spatchcocked the turkey and improvised different spice rubs; sure, I’ve made various different stuffings and cranberry sauces—but this year I wanted to go further. And so here is the core of this year’s menu: turkey “roast” in a Kerala style; pulao in place of stuffing; spicy and sour roasted squash soup with tamarind and coconut milk; mashed roasted squash with ghee and garam masala; and this cranberry chutney. I made a test batch this week and it came out quite well.


  • 1 bag cranberries, 12 ounces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tblspn grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4-1/2 tspn hot chilli powder/cayenne
  • 2 tblspns apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse and put the cranberries in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cover till they have mostly begun to pop.
  2. Add the sugar and stir, mashing the cranberries a bit, while the syrup forms.
  3. Add the grated ginger, vinegar, salt and chilli powder and mix in well.
  4. Add the raisins.
  5. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook down uncovered till the sauce is at a thick but easily pourable consistency (it will thicken further when it cools).


  1. You could up the sugar by a 1/2 cup if you like. My test batch actually had 1.5 cups but I thought it was a bit too sweet.
  2. Likewise, how much chilli powder you use will depend on how hot yours is.
  3. More raisins won’t hut anyone either but I want this to be a cranberry chutney and not a cranberry-raisin chutney.
  4. I am pondering adding 1/2 tspn or so of ground, roasted cumin to the final batch.

Cranberry Chutney


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