Food & dining

Apples taste right at home in Indian cooking

The tart flavor of apples gets a kick from Indian spices in apple chutney and green apple curry.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/file

The tart flavor of apples gets a kick from Indian spices in apple chutney and green apple curry.

Apples grow on almost every continent, and the versatile fruit is used in many cuisines. But in India — although apples are grown in the north, where the temperatures drop to subzero — the fruit is not frequently used in cooking. It makes an interesting substitute for traditional ingredients, however. A chutney usually made with just-ripe tomatoes and a curry with raw mangoes here get fresh remakes with the seasonal New England favorite. The spices can be found at any Indian market.

Apple chutney

Makes 1 pint

This would be a great condiment on the Thanksgiving table. The Indian spices add an unexpected kick to the sweet and tart flavors of the apples and cranberries.

1teaspoon olive oil
1piece (1 inch) ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
½teaspoon red chile powder
½teaspoon turmeric
1teaspoon garam masala
3 large McIntosh apples, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
cups water
cups dried, sweetened cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium-size, thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the ginger and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

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2. Add the red chile powder, turmeric, and garam masala and stir for another 2 minutes.

3. Mix in the apples gently.

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4. Add the water, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the dried cranberries, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the apples are soft and the mixture is reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sena Desai Gopal

Green apple curry

Serves 4-6

This is best with tart Granny Smith apples and can be served with basmati rice or used as a side dish.

1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon mustard seeds
½teaspoon asafetida
1teaspoon yellow lentils
4-6curry leaves
2dried red chiles
4Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thin into half-moons
2teaspoons brown sugar
Salt to taste

1. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium heat. Turn down the heat and add the mustard seeds, asafetida, yellow lentils, curry leaves, and red chiles. (Stand back a little while you do this because mustard seeds will pop out of the hot oil.) Stir for 1 minute.

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2. Add the apples and brown sugar, stir, and cook until apples are slightly soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add salt to taste. Sena Desai Gopal

Sena Desai Gopal can be reached at sena_desai@yahoo.com
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