Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Cranberry Dal

“Jam, jelly, or marmalade?”

“No sugar, please.”

“How about pairing with dal?”

“Hmm… I need change. Ok. Let’s try that” said the cranberry.

Cranberries, toor dal, green chillies and onion - pressure-cooked together, and flavored with tadka seasoning.

“So, how was the experience?”

“I was skeptical about this idea. But change is good. Toor dal is my new dosth. Alvida to the clingy sugar” beamed the cranberry.

Just because cranberries are tart, we tend to suffocate them and us by adding bucket loads of sugar for any cranberry preparation. But cranberries are versatile. I found out by trying out this dal recipe. It’s definitely a different taste but a decent one. Give it a try.

Cranberries and Toordal
Cranberries and Toor Dal

Cranberry Dal:
(For two or four, for two to one meal)

Toor dal - 3/4 cup
Fresh cranberries - 1/2 cup, about 20 to 25 berries
Red onion, cut pieces - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 10 (small, Indian variety), cut to small pieces

Take them all in a pressure cooker. Add a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and three cups of water. Mix. Close the lid and cook until the dal cooks to soft, mushy stage.

Remove the lid. Add about half teaspoon of salt to the cooked dal. With a whisk or masher, mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Heat a teaspoon of oil or ghee in a small pan. Do the tadka and add it to the dal.

Enjoy the cranberry dal with rice, chapati or bread.

Cranberry Dal with Bread
Cranberry Dal with Bread ~ for Lunch Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Cranberries (Tuesday January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

28 comments for Cranberry Dal »

  1. I love the cranberries too. I have tried them in Indian recipes with great success. I have to try this recipe though.

    Comment by Cilantro — January 6, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  2. I had made this earlier and it somehow had flavors of the mango dal…and ever since got hooked onto these. Recently a friend passed me on a cranberry chutney (spicy) recipe which is really good

    Do tadka and add lot of garlic. On low heat after the garlic is well done, add cranberries and cook until mush. Add salt, chili and nuvvulapodi (sesame seed powder) and voila ..cranberry chutney

    Comment by Smitha — January 6, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  3. Hey Indira

    Cranberries are called “vakkayalu” in Andhra, i got to know that very recently. Its makes a wonderful dal, but the dal these days seems to be of low quality and smells weird after I cook it, did u observe this if not where do u generally buy dal?


    Comment by DEEPIKA — January 6, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  4. I’d never have thought of pairing cranberries with dal! I have got to try this. Will make it to go with rice(thinner consistency). Like how you have kinda used it as a spread here.:-D

    Comment by tbc — January 6, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  5. Wow, this is such a creative recipe! Thanks, Indira. I thought you may be interested in this explanation for adding sugar while cooking vegetables (or cranberries…):
    I found the article interesting, and hope you like it, too.

    Comment by Uma — January 6, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

  6. wow,..never thought of pairing cranberries with dal,…will sure try this soon,..

    Comment by notyet100 — January 6, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  7. Indira,
    Nice recipe. I used to make loads of cranberry pickle(with raw and cooked cranberries). Miss it now..
    Do you know if Cranberries are available in India? I relocated to Bangalore and haven’t seen them here. What are they called in India?

    Comment by Asha — January 6, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  8. Wow..cranberries with dal..great combo!!I’ve tried your watermelon+coconut water combo and was amazed by the different flavour..this one sounds equally interesting!!

    Comment by Divya — January 6, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

  9. WOW! this is a unique combination! love the idea. I will definitely try. I am so happy that you are back! Have a good day Indira.

    Comment by Shillu — January 6, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  10. Hey…Sooo good to see you back. Nice home :-) Congratulations !! Cranberry Dal sounds so unique and creative. Will definetly give it a try.

    Comment by Rathna — January 6, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

  11. Wish you a happy new year Indira.Good to see you back. Nice house.I like your all recipes.keep sending new recipes. Good luck.

    Comment by swathi — January 7, 2009 @ 12:27 am

  12. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    I once made Cranberry rice..Similar to lemon rice.
    Will defly give it a try..

    Comment by Anitha Srinivas — January 7, 2009 @ 1:49 am

  13. Wonderful to see you back!!Happy new year.
    Thanks for giving us unique combinations like these.I am going to surely give it a try.

    Comment by Priya — January 7, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  14. Misses your beautiful, innovative recipes.. so good to see your recipes..
    Yeah! I prefer spicy over sweet..dal and caranberries looks good.

    Comment by Madhu — January 7, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  15. Cilantro: This is a good one. Give it a try.

    Smitha: That cranberry chutney sounds very good. Thanks for sharing.

    Deepika: Vaakkayalu?, really? I didn’t know that before.
    Yes, I noticed that too about toor dal. Mine are from World Food Market on Bissonet and highway 6.

    TBC: I had it with rice and pickle for dinner. It was an excellent meal.:)

    Dear Uma: Happy New Year! and thank you for all the good words and wishes. I greatly appreciate it!
    We too add just a tad bit jaggery to the curries and to sambar. Particularly in bean curries like broadbeans, jaggery is a must. Who knew it was based on some good scientific reason. Good read that Ny article.:)

    Hello Asha: I heard from my friends that dried cranberries are available in India in recent days. Supermarkets, they mentioned.

    Notyet100 and Divya: If you try, let me know how you like it. Thanks.

    Shillu: Thank you and you too. Happy New Year.

    Rathna and Swati: Thanks very much. Happy New Year!

    Anitha: Did you cook the cranberries first? I would love to try this cranberry rice.

    Happy New year, Priya.

    Madhu: Me too. Love the spicy things.

    Comment by Indira — January 7, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  16. Hi, I think maybe one or more of the quantities is wrong.
    Used the recipe in pressure cooker. After 7 minutes first ring allowed pan to cool. Contents very liquid. Replaced lid and pressure cooked for a further 7 minutes. Allowed to cool. Contents consistency like clumpy water. Dals VERY mushy.
    Is it me or the quantities?

    Hello David, I have given the water quantity little bit on the liberal =soupy side. For a more “spread” like dal shown in the photo, two cups of water should be enough. 3 or 4 cups of water for 3/4 cup toor dal produces soupy kind of dal more suitable with rice or chapati.
    - Indira

    Comment by David Morton — January 7, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  17. Happy New Year, dearest Indira :)

    Cranberries might take the place of tamarind in sambhar one day, oh…. there’s a thought inspired by you! :) Dal looks yummy!

    Comment by Linda — January 8, 2009 @ 12:54 am

  18. “Do the tadka and add it to the dal.”

    What are the ingredients for the tadka? They don’t seem to be listed anywhere.

    Comment by dma — January 8, 2009 @ 10:08 am

  19. I grated cranberries n fried n cooked it with salt n turmeric

    Comment by Anitha — January 8, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  20. hi Indira.

    Great Combination!! Good to See you abck Hope you are enjoying your new home very much!

    I like cranberries with Indian cooking as well - I even tried Cranberry Avakaya - It tasted good but ofcourse It was more of an experiment like crabapple avakaya! Nothing beats the Mango!

    Just wanted to add - Vakkaya although looks like cranberry is different - It has seeds in it and has more vagaru taste to it - I remember my mom used to make vakkaya pappu during oct/Nov in Vijayawada and if you eat a lot of raw vakkaya (like me) you are bound to lose your voice - which I always did :)

    Comment by Aparna — January 9, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  21. Wow.. very innovative…

    Comment by kalva — January 9, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  22. Apologise meant to say above - Vakkayya has a single seed and needs to be deseeded before using. I do not know what its called in English though :( If anyone else knows would love to hear!

    Comment by Aparna — January 9, 2009 @ 10:52 am

  23. After reading the comments I’m amazed that many Indians are using cranberries in Indian cooking. I never thought of it. Actually I have around 1/2-3/4 cup of cranberries in the fridge. I was not sure what to do with it. Let me try this one. I tasted cranberries for the first time recently and had the feeling that I have tasted something very similar like this in India. Have to find out what it was.

    Comment by Madhuram — January 9, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  24. Indira and others,

    Vaakkaya/Karonda is Carissa carandas, and Cranberry is Vaccinium macrocarpus. Quite different even though their appearance and taste may be similar.

    Read more on this at

    Great to have you back and posting!

    Comment by Khaoo — January 13, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  25. Good see you back Indira, missed you.

    Comment by Archana — January 13, 2009 @ 12:40 am

  26. Hi Indira, Nice one. the bread looks very yummy. what bread is it? did you bake it?

    Comment by adhvika — January 30, 2009 @ 12:07 am

  27. Hi dear all, where can we buy or find the Cranberries in India..? I am living in Bangalore and tried to find it at different super markets like Namdharis, Nilagiris, food world, Brown tree etc….but they dont sell it..
    I like Cranberries a lot…n also the most important thing is my wife’s Urine Infection (UI) gets cleared in no time if she drinks this Cranberry juice…

    Comment by Prasad — August 31, 2011 @ 5:25 am

  28. Cranberries and Karaunda are different things. Cranberry grows in cold countries while Karaunda in warm and dry parts of Indian subcontinent. Cranberry is a tart and little bitter berry growing on bushes which seems similar to Karaunda but it is red berry while Karaunda is white with pink hue. You can get dried cranberries in India but with much difficulty but cranberry juice is easily available in the form of “Dabur Real Cranberry Juice” in 1 litre pack best for cancer and urinari infections. In Hindi Cranberry is known as Karand or Kheet and in English Karaunda is known by the same name Karaunda, its other variety Jungli Karaunda, a black and sweet, soft berry is known as Conkerberry in Engllish.

    Comment by Shivendra — May 21, 2012 @ 1:55 am

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