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Easy Cranberry Chutney with Garam Masala

December 7, 2009

Several years ago–and I’ve written about this before–I got a bee in my bonnet to learn how to make Indian food. That year, I received two Indian cookbooks for Christmas. One, The Spice Is Right by Monica Bhide, is organized by menu (which I don’t particularly like) but it still has some great recipes.

My favorite recipe has been a go-to for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This cranberry chutney/sauce recipe is so good, you should never ever buy canned cranberry sauce again. Unless, of course, you try this and don’t like it. But I don’t think that’s possible.

The primary unique ingredient in this is garam masala, a spice blend staple in Indian cooking. Did you know that authentic Indian recipes don’t call for curry powder? But they do call for garam masala. You can buy it in the spice section of most grocery stores, but you can also whip up a batch yourself.

There are plenty of recipes for garam masala all over the internet and they all call for different spices/quantities, but here’s an easy one to try. Buy your spices at bulk or health food stores or Indian groceries not grocery stores. You’ll save a lot of money and the spices will probably be fresher.

Garam Masala

3 black cardamom pods

3 green cardamom pods

1 3″ connamon stick

8 whole cloves

4 t. cumin seeds

Dry roast the spices in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Allow to cool. Grind in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder or morter and pestle. Store in an airtight jar. Makes about 2 T.

Now you can make

Cranberry Chutney

1/2 pound fresh or frozen cranberries

1 C. water

3/4 C. sugar (More or less, to taste.)

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. chopped walnuts

1 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground cloves

1/4-1/2 t. garam masala

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, ginger, cloves, and garam masala. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and mash the berries with a potato masher. Let cool completely and store in the frigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes: 2 Cups. This is really easy to double; just increase the quantities.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah Grant Duff permalink
    December 9, 2009 8:56 pm

    I agree home made Cranberry sauce is the way to go. I was introduced to cranberry sauce via the canned gelatinous style and I didn’t let another cranberry pass my lips for decades (I was 10). Now I make the recipe on the package of fresh cranberries. Except I substitute orange juice for the water and I add vanilla to cut the sharpness of the cranberries. People always love my Cranberry sauce and can never believe how easy it is.


  1. Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauces « Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

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