Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cranberry Thokku (Savory Cranberry Relish)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I remember this delicious Cranberry Thokku and how much we enjoyed Amma's ingenuity. Upon meeting this new fruit, Amma decided to make thokku, a spicy and savory condiment. The tart and gorgeous deep red berries cook up into this delicious and beautiful relish. Cranberry Thokku has become a traditional dish at our Thanksgiving!

Long after the Thanksgiving meal, we love using the thokku in many ways: in sandwiches; with Dosa, Adai, or other snacks; with everyday meals to spice them up a bit. Cranberry thokku lasts several weeks in the fridge; for longer storage pack in sterilized canning jars and process according to manufacturer's directions.

Here is the original and cherished recipe from my mother. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Ingredients:

1 bag Cranberries (14 - 16 oz.)
2 Tbsp Canola oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 pinch Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
1 big pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
1 Tbsp ground Dry Hot Red Chilies (Cayenne), or to taste
2 Tbsp Jaggery (Indian Brown Sugar), or to taste
2 tsp Coarse Salt (Kosher) or Sea Salt
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp roasted Fenugreek Seeds, ground

Method:

Roast the fenugreek seeds in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant; cool.

Heat the oil in a stainless saucepan or skillet; add mustard and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds subside popping, stir in asafoetida, ground chilies, salt and the cranberries in that order.

Cover and cook on medium heat until the cranberries begin to soften and start to release their juices.

Add the turmeric and the crushed jaggery - more if you like a sweet thokku - and cook covered stirring occasionally until the cranberries are well cooked and the thokku thickens.

Grind the fenugreek seeds into a fine powder. Stir into the thokku and mix well.

Cover and let cool. Refrigerate until needed.

Serve at room temperature or cold.

Note: Use regular brown sugar if Jaggery is unavailable; also adjust the amount of chili powder and jaggery according to your preference.

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