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Baked Chicken Breasts with Mustard Sauce
Cranberry-Shallot relish with mustard oil and kalonji
- 12 oz. packet of raw cranberries
- 1/2 cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp whole black mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp kalonji (aka nigella, "black onion" seeds, charnushka)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 finely chopped, seeded green chilies (jalapeno, cayenne, or serrano - your preference for heat)
- pinch of salt
A raw cranberry relish loosely based on the raw starfruit-mustard oil relish in the Mangoes and Curry Leaves cookbook. When I made this for a Thanksgiving buffet last year I was worried it might be just too radical a departure, but it turned out that the kalonji and shallots go surprisingly well with turkey.
- 1Using a food processor, finely chop the rinsed cranberries and leave them to macerate with the brown sugar in a bowl.
- 2Finely chop half a cup of shallots. Depending on your tolerance for heat, seed and remove the white veins from the green chilies before finely chopping them.
- 3Heat 2 tsbp mustard oil in a small heavy skillet over medium high heat until it begins to smoke. Turn off the flame, let the oil cool down for a minute, and then turn the burner back on.
- 4Add the mustard, cumin and kalonji seeds. Shake gently over medium high heat until the mustard seeds turn light grey and begin popping.
- 5Immediately add the chopped shallots and green chilies. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (scant 1/4 tsp). Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are transparent but not yet starting to brown.
- 6Mix the shallots and spices in with the cranberries.
- 7When first mixed, depending on how hot your chillies were, this might taste a bit jarring – but press on! Put the relish in a covered container and leave it in the fridge overnight. By the next day everything will have mellowed beautifully.