Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Welcoming Fall With Cranberry Pickle

I say this often around this time of the year, but time is zooming by faster than ever! My daughter is growing up way too fast for my liking, and I want to hang on to every precious moment. Perhaps that is why I haven't felt the urge to post all the wonderful recipes I tried during the festival season. October was an exciting month with lots of firsts for my baby girl. We celebrated her first Diwali, and how! My whole family, including mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law were with us. Really, it is no celebration without the company of your near and dear ones! My sister and I prepared faraal with mom, she instructing us on the exact measurements and just the right method for making everything. No matter how much I learn to do things on my own, having mom inspecting everything for accuracy makes everything better. We all woke up bright and early on Diwali day, dressed up, and enjoyed faraal with some garam-garam chai.

Shreya has now started eating some solids and loves to grab everything from our plates. Diwali was the perfect time to celebrate her embarking on the solid food journey. We did her Ushtavan or Anna Prashan (literally meaning Consuming Food) the day after Diwali. It's a ceremony performed in many Indian states to mark baby's solid eating. Maharashtrians host this ceremony when the baby is between 7-9 months of age. The baby sits on her mama's (maternal uncle) lap, and gets fed all sorts of mushy goodness by the family members. I had some of Shreya's favorite foods - rice, daal, mashed sweet potato, peas, and squash. She looked a little confused by the number of people feeding her, but enjoyed the food anyway.

The month ended with an impromptu trip to Vegas! The long drive made me nervous at first, but my daughter was a complete darling and didn't fuss even once. As lame as it sounds, the best part of the trip was getting out of the messy house and not having to clean the room :D. I think Shreya caught the Vegas fever, and refused to sleep or nurse. She was looking around wide-eyed, with a big grin on her face!

We came back from the Vegas heat to a much cooler and breezy San Diego. The weather had turned around just in days. This pleasantly cool weather is a welcome change, and has given way to winter cooking. I bought fresh cranberries from the market the other day and mom made her favorite, gorgeous colored Indian style pickle. My mom sure is one to try new things in the kitchen and had picked up this recipe a decade back when we lived in NY. It's a quick fix, as long as you have pickle masala on hand. If not, you can use this recipe; it's made with usual ingredients on your spice rack. The pickle is a little bit of each - spicy, sweet, and sour. And look at that beautiful color! Cranberry pickle tastes much like raw Karvand/Karonda pickle.  Slather it on a slice of bread, or eat it with daal-rice or yogurt-rice, it is a picker-upper for any meal, and goes with Non-Indian dishes just as well. We made another batch today, and had it with quinoa pulao. You may even add it to your Thanksgiving menu!

Indian Style Cranberry Pickle

2 1/2 Cups fresh cranberries
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 Teaspoon mustard seeds
3/4 Teaspoon asafoetida (this may seem a lot, but is required)
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric powder
4 Teaspoons Pickle Masala (available at Indian grocery stores)
3 Teaspoons red chili powder
2-3 Tablespoons grated jaggery (adjust per your liking)
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup water

  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and add mustard seeds. 
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add asafoetida and turmeric. Add cleaned cranberries to the pot. 
  • Add a little water, cover the pot, and cook the cranberries until soft. Stir in between. 
  • Add pickle masala, red chili powder, jaggery, and salt, and mix well. Cook this down until most of the water evaporates, leaving a chunky pickle. The cranberries should soften completely.
  • Taste, and adjust the ingredients to your liking. 

Cool the pickle completely, and it's ready to enjoy! As with any pickle, it tastes much better the next day. Keep it in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks. I bet you'll finish it way before that :).


Jenny (vintagesugarcube) said...

That looks wonderful. Maybe I'll make that for Thanksgiving. I think everyone would LOOOVE it. Sooo happy to hear your family was in town. That's absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Snehal said...

Thank you Jenny! This pickle will add a fusion twist to your thanksgiving menu. Hope you have something fun planned for the holiday season!


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