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Cranberry Vetha Kozhambu

December 30, 2011

Until a few years ago, I thought that cranberries are sweet and that is why the ubiquitous sweet cranberry sauce during the holiday season. Sweet dishes are not my thing so I didn’t tink about cooking with cranberries. When I realized that cranberries are tart and sour, I was curious to use it in some traditional Indian dishes. The first dish I made was cranberry Vetha Kozhambu. Vetha Kozhambu is a spicy and tangy dish from Tamil Nadu in India. Translated it means ‘ Fried Crisps in Gravy’. Traditionally it’s fried vegetables or fried sundried vegetables or crisps simmered on a tangy and spicy tamarind sauce. The vegetable in my dish was cranberry.

What You Need

– 1 cup cranberries

– 1 Tblsp Tamarind extract

– 2 tsp Sambar Powder

– 1 Tblsp sesame oil

– 1/2 tsp of turmeric

– 1 1/2 Tblsp Rice Flour

– 1 tsp each mustard, Chana dal, fenugreek seeds

– 1/2 tsp of Asafoetida

– 3-4 curry leaves

– 1 dried red chilli

– 2 cups of water

– Salt to taste

How Its Done

– Heat oil in a sauce pan, and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the asafetida, Chana dal, fenugreek seeds, red chili, curry leaves. Fry for a minute or so, then add the turmeric powder and let it cook for a few seconds

– Now add the cranberries and cook for a couple of minutes, till the cranberries plump up.

– Add the sambar powder and the rice flour and cook till the raw smell of the rice flour is gone.

– At this point, add the tamarind extract and the water and mix. Let this come to a boil, and then simmer for a few minutes till it thickens.

This is perfect to mix with plain rice or spread on a slice of bread, top with sliced cucumbers, or as an accompaniment to idles or dosa. Definitely works and is delish!!

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