This jola – mitha cranberry chutney l Assamese style hot and sweet cranberry chutney is exactly what it says; hot and sweet! Spoon a little into your mouth and you are greeted by the initial sweetness and very slight tang followed by a kick of heat at the back of your throat. Utterly delicious. And it is made in the Assamese style of hot and sweet pickles. It is layered with spices and sweetened with jaggery.
Pickles are one of the most popular condiments in the Indian sub continent. Apart from the typical mango or lime pickle, one can find a variety of pickles made in various ways. It is something that you can easily pick up from a shop, but they are also regularly made in households.
Growing up, my ma too would make a variety of pickles or as we call them in Assamese ( the language of Assam, a North Eastern state of India)- ‘asar’ . Huge jars would be full to the brim with a variety of pickles that would be lined up on the verandah to be ‘sunned’. And amongst them, the hot and sweet ones would be my absolute favourite and the taste lingers to this day. They were usually made with jolphai (Indian olives) or bogori (jujube). I very rarely come across jolphai and bogori here, so very often, I try to add the same flavour to locally found fruits for a taste of my childhood. This time, they happened to be cranberries and I gave them the Assamese treatment. Well, I have made them many times before, and really enjoy it, so thought of sharing with all of you too.
This chutney can be served as a condiment in the Indian way along side Indian flatbreads, fritters etc. or in the Western way too! This festive season, grace your crackers and cheese with this chutney and you will not be disappointed!
Continue reading for the full recipe for this jola – mitha cranberry chutney l Assamese style hot and sweet cranberry chutney.
All the Assamese recipes on his website can be found here.
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Jola – mitha cranberry chutney l Assamese style hot and sweet cranberry chutney
- 300 gms fresh cranberries, washed and halved
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole red chilli
- 1 2 inch piece of cinnamon
- 4 green cardamoms
- 1 tsp pas puron ( a whole spice blend of equal parts of fenugreek, nigella, fennel, cumin and black mustard seeds)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 sp cumin powder
- 1½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cup water
- 1 cup jaggery ( I scraped off a block)
- Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan.
- Add the bay leaf, whole red chilli, cinnamon, cardamom and pas puron.
- When the seeds splutter, add the cranberries and stir well for a minute over low to medium heat.
- Add the turmeric, cumin and chilli powders and stir well for 30-40 seconds.
- Add ¼ cup of water and stir well.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes, adding another ¾ cup of water in batches until the cranberries soften. Check by pressing the ladle against the berries. Keep smashing the berries while stirring.
- Add the jaggery along with ½ cup water and stir well.
- Cook over low heat for 6-7 minutes or till the mixture begins to thicken. Do not let it thicken too much, it will thicken further on cooling.
- Cool completely and transfer to a clean dry air tight jar. Store in the refrigerator.
- Serve as condiment in the Indian way along side Indian flatbreads, fritters etc or with crackers and cheese.
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Until next time,